After spending a good part of the morning at the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, the Tenryuji Temple and the Okochi Sanso Gardens with my tour-guide in Kyoto, we took a taxi to Kinkaku-ji, a Zen Buddhist temple and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kinkaku-ji Temple also known as the 'Temple of the Golden Pavilion' is one of the most popular attractions in Kyoto. The pond with the Golden Pavilion forms the center of the temple's garden. The garden itself is listed as a National Special Historic Site and Special Place of Scenic Beauty. Gold foil on lacquer covers the upper two levels of Kinkaku. The gold was used as a symbol of purification of negative thoughts and feelings towards death. The temple's main image is a stone statue of the Buddhist deity Fudo-myo-o. Although normally hidden from public view, the image has long been revered for miraculous powers. Open-door rituals are held in early February (Setsubun) and on August 16th.
Kinkakuji Temple is located in the far north west of Kyoto and there are no major train lines nearby. The best way to get to Kinkaku-ji from Kyoto Station is by the Kyoto City Bus. There are also organized bus tours that you can find online. Since I visited the sites in Arashiyama before going to Kinkaku-ji, I took a train from the Kyoto Station to the Saga-Arashiyama Station. From Arashiyama, a taxi to Kinkaku-ji cost me less than 1000 yen.