Ginkaku-ji （銀閣寺）is also called Jisho-ji Temple（慈照寺）which belong to the Shokoku-ji branch（相国寺） of the
Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. Jisho-ji means Temples of Shining Mercy.
Ginkaku-ji Temple was built in 1482 as a rural retirement villa by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, grand son of Shogun
Ashikaga Yoshimitsu who built Kinkaku-ji Temple in 1397.
Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa originally intend to over the structure with silver-foil overlay but this work never become reality before his death.
So, the present appearance of the structure is the same as when Ashikaga Yoshimasa himself saw before his death.
After Ashikaga Yoshimasa’s death, it is called Higashiyama Jisho-ji taking Shogun Yoshimasa’s posthumous title.
Shogun Yoshimasa spent his whole life building Higashiyama villa, the beauty of nature in every season.
Shogun Yoshimasa having retired to the villa, he sat in the pavilion, contemplating the calm and beauty of the gardens as the Onin War worsened and Kyoto was burned to the ground in 1994.
After Shugun Yoshimasa’s death on January 27th, 1490, the villa and garden became a Buddist temple named
Jisho-ji Yoshimasa’s Buddhist name.
Today, Ginkakuji consists of the Silver Pavilion, a beautiful moss garden and interesting dry sand garden and never stop entertaining visitor’s eye and sense.
Ginkaku-ji Temple is well known as Silver Pavilion, and was designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1994. It is definitely worth visiting even you have only one day in Kyoto.
[posted by Seki]
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