The Rokuonji Temple and The Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji)
One of the most known Japanese architecture and world heritage Kinkakuji. A brief introduction to the unique history of this golden building.
The Rokuonji Temple
The temple known as Kinkakuji is actually the common name for it.
“Rokuonji”, the official name of the temple was first built in 1397, used to be called the “Kitayama Den” back then and served as a housing for Yoshimitsu Ashikaga, the 3rd Shogun of the Muromachi era.
The Golden Pavilion was originally built to serve as a Stupa, to keep a relic.
It was named Rokuonji back in 1420 and now has been around for just over 6 centuries.
Kinkakuji, a UNESCO World Heritage
The beauty of Kinkakuji is not only in the value of its gold but in the mixture of the existence of nature and cultural artifact.
The pond surrounding the building reflecting the image.
In spring and summer, the green leaves around serve as a contrast.
In autumn, the foliage of the leaves adds the red colour to the gold.
In winter, the snow highlights the gold and also the same other way around.
That all exists with a balance.
The pavilion you see now is actually not the original one.
In fact, it has been rebuilt about ten times until now. (Well, yes it’s been around for over 600 years now.)
It was even once set on fire back in 1950 and lost everything. Some rumors say the arsonist set it on fire because he was so jealous about how beautiful the building looked and that made him feel pity.
However, after all that happening, Kinkakuji remains as if nothing happened and still beautiful serving as one of the well-known landmarks of Kyoto.
By the way, it is said that it cost around 730 million Japanese yen. That’s almost 6.9milion USD.
And believe it or not, the original cost of construction is said to be much more than that.