Kinkakuji Travel Guide

Glittering panels of gold beam across the pond and gardens of the decadent Kinkakuji. Surrounded by traditional Kyoto cuisine options and snack food, this famous golden pavilion (decorated in gold leaf) features a pond and a tea house.

Nearby Food Experiences

Nearby Restaurants



The Watanabe family brings fictional kaiseki cuisine to life at their Michelin-starred Kyoto restaurant, located conveniently near the Kinkaku-ji Temple and Arashiyama bamboo grove.
Lunch: ¥18,000-20,000
Dinner: ¥29,000-53,000


This intimate dining experience led by executive chef Akira Taniguchi features 13 counter seats surrounding an open kitchen — a stage for the chef’s culinary performance. Taste heirloom Kyoto vegetables, prepared with French techniques.
Dinner: ¥35,000-40,000

Fuguryori Tomoe

The chef’s dedication to mastering fugu cuisine has made this restaurant one of the most famous pufferfish restaurants in Japan.
Dinner: ¥15,000-19,999

Aman Kyoto Taka-An Restaurant

The course menus at this resort restaurant perfectly embody the delicate artistry of kaiseki cuisine. In the serene surroundings of the northern Kyoto foothills, guests can relax and unwind with a meal that’s perfectly in sync with the seasons.
Dinner: ¥20,000-29,999

Glistening in the northeast pocket of Kyoto, the Zen temple Kinkakuji was the grand retirement villa of an ancient shogun. This golden pavilion was originally built as an example of the wealthy aristocratic Kitayama culture some 600 years ago, each floor representing a different style of architecture and the top two covered in signature gold.

You can enjoy a quiet moment in the resident tea house after viewing the temple across the pond, or find the streets surrounding filled with Japanese-style coffee shops (kissaten) and street stall cafes selling matcha sweets, parfaits, and snack foods on a stick. There are lovely souvenir shops and a specialist in bean sweets, but for a lick of luxury, stores near Kinkakuji serve ice cream with edible gold-leaf! Leading in and around Kinkakuji, restaurants selling every Japanese food from conveyor-belt sushi to teishoku lunch sets with local ingredients. Not far down the road, the temple of Ryoanji and its famous rock garden presents a contemplative attempt at enlightenment, but only for those who can view all 13 rocks formations simultaneously. Shining and surrounded by a satisfying selection of souvenirs and foods, Kinkakuji is Kyoto’s golden delight.

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