- ★★★ ミシュラングリーンガイド 三ツ星
In 1473 (the fifth year of the Bunmei era) the 8th shogun of the Muromachi shogunate, Yoshimasa Ashikaga, turned his position over to his heir Yoshihisa Ashikaga. In 1482 he began construction of his villa, Higashiyama Sanso (Higashiyama-dono) on the foothills of Mt. Tsukimachi-yama in Higashiyama. This was originally where the Jodo-ji Temple was destroyed by fire during the Onin War, and still bears the name Jodo-ji, Sakyo Ward. The construction work went on for eight years until just before Yoshimasa's death, but he had moved into the newly completed Tsune-no-gosho (living quarters) just one year after construction began. The Higashiyama-dono villa included large-scale buildings such as meeting houses or noble family residences, and although it was not as large as Yoshimitsu Ashikaga’s Kitayama-dono villa (that later became Rokuon-ji Temple), it also had a certain political function. Following the end of the Onin War the economy of Kyoto was in ruins, but Yoshimasa imposed a tansen (surtax) and acquired slave labor in order to proceed with the construction of his Higashiyama-dono villa, while he indulged in such refined pursuits as calligraphy and the tea ceremony. In 1490 (the second year of the Entoku era), Higashiyama-dono became a Zen temple in accordance with Yoshimasa’s last request, and was given the name Jisho-ji the following year. Nowadays, the only buildings remaining are Ginkaku and Togu-do, and they are designated national treasures. During the end of the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States), this site became the villa of the former chief advisor to the Emperor, Sakihisa Konoe, but this was because many of the successive chief priests of Jisho-ji were of the Konoe family. Following Sakihisa's death, the site was restored as a branch temple of the Shokoku-ji Temple.
Except for Ginkaku and Togu-do, all of the buildings burned down in the fires of 1558, and their replacements that we see today were established in 1615. Ginkaku was erected in 1489, and is a two-storey building with a shingled roof. The lower floor is called Shinku-den, and was constructed in a traditional style of Japanese residential architecture. The upper floor is called Cho-on-gaku, and is a Zen Buddhism styled room where Kannon-zo (the image of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy) is enshrined.
Although no silver was actually overlaid in construction, you’ll find at Ginkakuji a refined characteristic and elegant simplicity compared to Kitayama Rokuon-ji (Kinkaku-ji), and it’s a very famous building that represents the culture of Higashiyama.
Michelin Green Guide
Ginkaku-ji has a three star rating, and the garden has a two star rating.
- 2 Ginkakujimaechō, Kyoto-shi Sakyo-ku Kyoto Prefecture, 606-8407
- Formal Name
- Sangou (Mountain Name)
- Rinzai sect, Shōkoku-ji school
- Date Founded
- 1490 (Second year of the Entoku era)
- Founding Patron
- Ashikaga Yoshimasa, Muso Soseki (Kanjyo Kaisan)
- Cultural Properties
Ginkaku, Togu-do (National Treasures)
Color painting on silk of Shunoku Myoha, works of calligraphy (Important Cultural Properties)
Former Grounds (Historic Site)
Garden (Special Place of Scenic Beauty and Historic Site)
Adults and High School Students: 500 yen
Elementary and Middle School Students: 300 yen
Summer season (3/1 - 11/30) 8:30 ~ 17:00
Winter season (12/1 - last day in February) 9:00 ~ 16:30
Available (40 spaces, fee required, one day parking 800 yen)
- Access Guide
- Official Website