Gardens (Japan)

Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto

Kinkaku-ji is registered as a World Cultural Heritage Site.  The garden and buildings, centres on the Golden Pavilion, which represents the “pure land” of Buddha in this world.  The main hall is covered in gold leaf and the original building dates from 1397.  Originally a retirement villa for shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, his son then converted it into a temple. In 1950 a young monk consummated his obsession with the temple by burning it to the ground. The monk’s story was fictionalised in Mishima Yukio’s The Temple of the Golden Pavilion. In 1955, a full reconstruction was completed that follows the original design but the gold leaf covering was extended to the lower floors.