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Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) Tours

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82 Reviews
Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)
With its gleaming gold tiers reflected in the lake below and a backdrop of forests and twisted pines, Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Pavilion) is an enchanting sight. Dating back to the 14th century, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Kyoto’s most popular attractions and among Japan’s most visited temples.
 
The Basics
You can’t enter the pavilion itself, but crowds come to admire its stunning architecture, enjoy views of the temple across the mirror pond, and stroll around the temple gardens.
 
Tours of Kyoto’s shrines and temples stop at the Golden Pavilion. A temple tour generally includes a visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine, Sagano Bamboo Forest, and Kyoto Cultural Forest. Alternatively, take the scenic route on a bike tour, visit with a professional photographer guide to maximize your chances of capturing postcard-worthy shots, or combine it with Kyoto attractions, such as Kyoto Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle. It’s also possible to visit on a day trip from Osaka or Nara, or as part of a multi-day Japan itinerary from Tokyo.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • There is an admission fee to enter the temple grounds.
  • Plan between 30 minutes and an hour to admire the temple, take photos, and explore the gardens.
  • A traditional Japanese teahouse is in the temple grounds, and souvenir shops, food vendors, and restaurants are just outside the gates.
  • The temple grounds and walkways are wheelchair accessible.
 
How to Get There
The Golden Pavilion, at the foot of Kinugasa Hill in northwest Kyoto, is a short taxi ride from downtown Kyoto. Bus 100 and 205 run there from Tokyo Station, and it’s a brief bus or taxi ride from the closest subway, Kitaoji Station (Karasuma Line).
 
When to Get There
The Golden Pavilion can get extremely crowded, especially on weekends and holidays. Get there before tour buses show up or before closing for the best chance of a crowd-free view. For the best photos, avoid the midday sun, visit in autumn for a colorful and interesting backdrop, or be there on one of the year’s coldest days to snap a shot of the snow-covered temple.
 
Golden Pavilion Architecture
The Golden Pavilion began as shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu’s 14th-century villa and transformed into a Zen Buddhist temple after his death. Numerous wars over the years have burned down and destroyed it, but the current temple, rebuilt in 1955, retains unique architectural details. Each floor showcases a different style: the Shinden-style first floor, the Bukke-style second floor, and the Chinese Zen hall-inspired top two floors.


Address: Kita-ku Kinkaku-ji-cho, Kyoto, Kinki 603-8361, Japan
Admission: Varies
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80 Tours and Activities to Experience Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)

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Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Kyoto

Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Kyoto

star-4.5
Discover the history and religions of ancient Japan during this full-day exploration of Kyoto and Nara. See Kyoto’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kinkaku-ji and Nijo Castle, along with its Imperial Palace. Then drive from Kyoto to Nara to explore its own World Heritage Site, Todai-ji Temple (including Great Buddha Hall), plus Kasuga Shrine. You also visit Nara’s deer park and sample a Japanese and Western-style meal for lunch. Your Nara and Kyoto visit also includes a guide, coach transport, and all entrance fees.
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  • 11 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$161.46
From
$161.46
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Highlights 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Kiyomizu Temple from Kyoto

Kyoto Highlights 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Kiyomizu Temple from Kyoto

star-4
Immerse yourself in the captivating culture of Kyoto on a full-day sightseeing tour. See the tranquil Kiyomizu Temple amid its verdant surroundings; absorb the Imperial majesty of Kyoto Imperial Palace; and stroll amid the botanical beauty of Kinkaku-ji Temple. Behold the beguiling beauty of the Fushimiinari Taisha Shrine and enrich your knowledge of Kyoto’s rich historical heritage with commentary from an informative guide. Moderate levels of fitness are advisable for this tour, on which a lot of walking occurs.
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  • 10 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$153.58
From
$153.58
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Morning Tour - Golden Pavilion and Kyoto Imperial Palace from Kyoto

Kyoto Morning Tour - Golden Pavilion and Kyoto Imperial Palace from Kyoto

star-4
Marvel at the some of the top UNESCO World Heritage-listed temples and palaces of ancient Kyoto on this half-day tour. This quick introduction to the sights of Kyoto covers Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), and the Japanese Emperor’s former Imperial Palace—a perfect way to see the city if you’re short on time. Your guided morning Kyoto excursion includes entrance fees and transport between sites by coach.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$76.79
From
$76.79
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Cultural Forest, Shrine and Temple Tour with Options

Kyoto Cultural Forest, Shrine and Temple Tour with Options

star-4.5
This guided tour helps you discover lots of Kyoto’s dispersed temples, shrines, and cultural attractions in one day. Save time researching and planning your trip, by having the itinerary organized for you. Travel in an air-conditioned coach for a hassle-free day. Highlights include Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Sagano Bamboo Forest, and Tenryuji Temple.
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  • 9 to 11 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$161.57
From
$161.57
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Virtual Tour

Kyoto Virtual Tour

star-5
This is a virtual tour using Zoom, online conference system. This unique 1h tour brings you to one of the most beautiful and historical cities in Japan, Kyoto. Two friendly hosts will make your experience more interactive. We use not only photos or videos but also handmade materials or actual goods from guides' living room, that makes you feel livelier. You can ask them anything about Japan, Kyoto and other popular tourists spots by chat or by talk session after the tour. This tour will provide helpful hints for your future trip to Japan. PLEASE NOTE the tour time is Japan standard time. Make adjustment to your time when booking. We'll send you Zoom URL invitation a few hours before the tour.
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  • 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$14.77
From
$14.77
Taking safety measures

Golden Pavilion Kinkaku-ji Temple Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide

Golden Pavilion Kinkaku-ji Temple Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide

star-3.5
Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion) is one of Kyoto's most recognizable landmarks and a must-see, but you will have a must richer experience by visiting it with a guide who can provided detailed historical context to the much-photographed temple.
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  • 1 hour
  • Taking safety measures
From
$25.24
Price varies by group size
From
$25.24
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Day Trip by Bus to Kyoto, Nara and Kobe from Osaka/Kyoto

Day Trip by Bus to Kyoto, Nara and Kobe from Osaka/Kyoto

star-4
Spend a day exploring historic neighborhoods, visiting temples, and shopping on a full-day tour from Osaka to Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe. Explore the Arashiyama district, tour the Kinkaku-ji Temple and Nara Park, and take in the stores at Kobe MOSAIC. This tour includes Kinkaku-ji entrance fee, as well as pickup from Kyoto Station, Umeda, Nippombashi or Namba. Opt for a buffet or shabu shabu lunch and/or a Kobe steak or an all-you-can-eat shabu shabu dinner.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$93.82
From
$93.82
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Early Bird Tour

Kyoto Early Bird Tour

star-5
Kyoto is one of Japan’s most popular travel destinations and with over 50 million annual visitors, it can get busy. This tour makes an early start so you can avoid the crowds and cram much more into your day. Stroll around the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove before the tour groups arrive, visit Kinkaku-ji temple (Golden Pavilion) right as it opens, and walk through the torii gates of Fushimi Inari (Shrine) before the midday heat.
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  • 5 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$132.91
Price varies by group size
From
$132.91
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Highlights of Kyoto Tour

Private Highlights of Kyoto Tour

star-4.5
Immerse yourself in the cultural and architectural splendor of Kyoto on this private tour, ideal for first-time visitors. Choose from two different routes, both of which cover major Kyoto attractions including Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu Temple, and explore the city with a personal guide. On the northwest-bound route, you’ll visit the Golden Pavilion, Nishiki Food Market, and the bamboo groves of Arashiyama Park. Alternatively, the southeast course covers the Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kiyomizu Temple, and the Gion area. Receive undivided attention from your guide on this private tour. 
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$225.30
Price varies by group size
From
$225.30
Price varies by group size

5 Top Highlights of Kyoto with Kyoto Bike Tour

5 Top Highlights of Kyoto with Kyoto Bike Tour

star-5
Kyoto’s traditional neighborhoods and scenic parklands are ideal for exploring by bike. On this tour, save time by cycling around the city and visit five of Kyoto’s most popular attractions in one day. Enjoy stunning views of the Golden Pavilion and the Kiyomizu Temple; pose for photos by the red torri gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine; and hop off to stroll around the Bamboo Forest and explore the geisha district.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$177.21
From
$177.21

Day Trip by Bus to Kyoto and Nara from Osaka/Kyoto

Day Trip by Bus to Kyoto and Nara from Osaka/Kyoto

star-4
Take a deep dive into traditional Japanese culture and history during this full-day trip to Kyoto and Nara from the center of Kyoto or Osaka. Enjoy the atmosphere of Kyoto’s Arashiyama district and admire the beautiful grounds of the Kinkaku-ji temple. Then head to Nara and see the wild deer of Nara Park. Multiple pickup points and lunch upgrade options are available.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$72.97
From
$72.97
Taking safety measures

Private Custom Tour: Kyoto in One Day

Private Custom Tour: Kyoto in One Day

star-4.5
Make the most of your time in Kyoto by booking a customized private tour with an expert guide. Create your own sightseeing itinerary, choosing from among dozens of cultural and historic landmarks, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Nijo Castle or Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion), and Fushimi Inari Shrine. Choose either a half-day or full-day itinerary and travel via public transport accompanied by your guide. Transportation and lunch is included on this comprehensive and flexible Kyoto tour.
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  • 4 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$223.16
Price varies by group size
From
$223.16
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Hidden Kyoto E-Biking tour

Hidden Kyoto E-Biking tour

star-5
Cycle past a mix of Kyoto’s most-famous sights and its lesser-known secrets during this half-day ‘Hidden Kyoto’ bike tour. Take a 4.9-mile (8-kilometer) ride that starts by winding past iconic Kyoto temples and shrines like Kinkakuji, Koto-in, and Kitano Tenmagu. You’ll continue ‘off the beaten path,’ discovering intimate Zen gardens and charming backstreets known only to locals.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$100.97
From
$100.97
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Private Custom Walking & Sightseeing Tour

Kyoto Private Custom Walking & Sightseeing Tour

star-5
Take control of your Kyoto sightseeing and visit only the sights you wish to see on this private walking tour. Ideal for first-time visitors, this tour lets you customize a half-day or full-day itinerary. Opt to visit the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), Fushimi Inari Shrine, and Nijo Castle, or to stray from the beaten path to see an alternative side of Kyoto. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 2 to 8 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$157.00
per group
From
$157.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Half Day Tour of Nijo Castle and Golden Pavilion in Kyoto

Half Day Tour of Nijo Castle and Golden Pavilion in Kyoto

star-4.5
Explore two of Kyoto’s most famous attractions, Nijo Castle and Kinkaku-ji, during this 4-hour excursion to these two UNESCO World Heritage sites. Relive the era of the Japanese ‘shoguns’ (military leaders) in the 17th century during an hour-long visit to Nijo Castle. Continue on to Kinkaku-ji Temple, the beautiful ‘Golden Pavillion’ constructed in the 14th century by the Ashikaga clan. Your guide, entrance fees and round-trip hotel transport are also covered.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$187.05
per group
From
$187.05
per group

Day Trip by Bus to Kyoto from Osaka/Kyoto

Day Trip by Bus to Kyoto from Osaka/Kyoto

star-4
Enrich yourself with the fascinating history of Kyoto’s numerous UNESCO-listed temples and shrines during this day trip from Osaka. Explore the seemingly endless ‘torii’ gates at Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine, visit Kiyomizu-dera temple, and explore Kinkaku-ji temple. Customize your trip by adding on a deluxe or standard Japanese style lunch, and select from four pickup points.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$72.97
From
$72.97
Taking safety measures

Explore The Culture & History of Kyoto With A Local: Private & Personalized 8Hrs

Explore The Culture & History of Kyoto With A Local: Private & Personalized 8Hrs

star-4.5
This personalized full-day Kyoto tour with a local is ideal for first-time visitors to the "City of Temples". You won’t waste a moment visiting places that don’t interest you as this tour is fully customizable based on your interests. Choose the neighborhoods you’d like to visit, and see many of Kyoto’s top sites. Exploring the city with a guide means you won’t get lost, and you'll learn lots of local tips that you wouldn’t discover otherwise.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$176.89
Price varies by group size
From
$176.89
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

One Day Tour : Enjoy Kyoto to the fullest!

One Day Tour : Enjoy Kyoto to the fullest!

star-5
Take in the highlights of Kyoto in one day with a guide who shares insights into the city’s history and culture. Stroll through the picturesque Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, and visit three important temples and shrines: Kinkaku-ji temple (Golden Pavilion), Ryoan-ji temple—known for its Zen garden, and Fushimi Inari shrine—known for rows of bright orange torii gates. You’ll also walk into the Gion district where you might see a geisha.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$160.93
Price varies by group size
From
$160.93
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Bus Tour

Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Bus Tour

star-3.5
Sightsee through Kansai’s most scenic areas, seeing iconic landmarks in Nara and Kyoto in one day, without the hassle of changing trains or getting lost. With pickup times in either Osaka or Kyoto, board a convenient tour bus to visit the 1000 vermilion gates of Fushimi-Inari Shrine, scenic Nara Park, beautiful Arashiyama, and more.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$90.66
From
$90.66
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Lazy Bird Tour

Kyoto Lazy Bird Tour

star-4
Many Kyoto day tours start early in the morning, which can be a challenge for travelers with jet lag. Avoid the early start, and opt for a lazy bird afternoon tour instead. Save time researching which sights to visit, and go on a predetermined itinerary of three top attractions—Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kinkaku-ji Temple, and Fushimi Inari Shrine.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$98.45
Price varies by group size
From
$98.45
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Early Bird feat. Kiyomizu-dera Temple tour

Kyoto Early Bird feat. Kiyomizu-dera Temple tour

Kyoto is the most famous tourist destination in Japan with plenty of wonderful sights to see. Here we offer a luxurious tour early in the morning that enables you to visit three of the most iconic tourist attractions in Kyoto comfortably and efficiently. Kyoto is always crowded with tourists. Be an early bird and avoid the crowds.
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  • 6 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$137.83
Price varies by group size
From
$137.83
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Early Bird Wheelchair User Tour

Kyoto Early Bird Wheelchair User Tour

Kyoto is the most famous tourist destination in Japan with plenty of wonderful sights to see. Here we offer a luxurious tour early in the morning that enables you to visit three of the most iconic tourist attractions in Kyoto comfortably and efficiently with avoiding the crowds.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$150.20
Price varies by group size
From
$150.20
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Golden Early Morning Tour

Kyoto Golden Early Morning Tour

star-5
Kyoto is the most famous tourist destination in Japan with plenty of wonderful sights to see. Here we offer a luxurious tour early in the morning that enables you to visit five of the most iconic tourist attractions in Kyoto comfortably and efficiently while avoiding the crowds.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$150.20
Price varies by group size
From
$150.20
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Platinum Early Morning Tour

Kyoto Platinum Early Morning Tour

star-4.5
Kyoto is the most famous tourist destination in Japan with plenty of wonderful sights to see. Here we offer a luxurious tour early in the morning that enables you to visit six of the most iconic tourist attractions in Kyoto comfortably and efficiently while avoiding the crowds.
More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$137.83
Price varies by group size
From
$137.83
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)?