Kinkaku-ji is the common name given to the Rokuon-ji Buddhist temple, located north of Kyoto. Very famous, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and therefore extremely popular with visitors, it is nicknamed the Golden Pavilion for its magnificent façades covered with gold leaf.
The famous Kinkaku-ji is not very far from the Ryoan-ji. It is one of the most visited Buddhist temples in Kyoto. And for good reason, its majestic main construction is... a pavilion covered with gold leaf.
Built at the end of the 14th century and then burned many times, the last time in 1950, it was rebuilt in the same way a few years later (in 1955), then renovated in 1987. In 1994, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The temple and the surrounding garden welcome a lot of tourists travelling to Japan and for good reason, it is one of the most beautiful sites in Kyoto. If you are staying in the big city of Kansai, Kinkaku-ji is obviously a must.
However, it may be so much so that the hordes of tourists take away the sacred character and Zen atmosphere of the walk. Moreover, the "bling-bling" aspect of the golden pavilion in some respects generally displeases the Japanese, who seem to dislike it in favour of other temples in the city, starting with its silvery counterpart in the east: the Ginkaku-ji.