Ginkakuji, meaning silver pavilion, is an iconic Zen temple that was built in 1482 as shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa’s retirement home. The sprawling villa was converted into a Zen temple after his death in 1490 making this temple more than five centuries old. The art obsessed shogun ensures that the villa grounds were definitive of the rich culture and traditional beliefs of the Higashiyama culture and made Ginkakuji a center for contemporary culture.
To this date, Ginkakuji and the monuments surrounding it stand tall and proud – a beautiful moss garden, several quaint temple buildings and a unique sand garden. Though the interior of the temple is not open to the public, guests can enjoy the contrasting architecture style of the two floors of the temple which depict the culture and style from two different eras.