Temple of the silver pavilion in Kyoto,Travel Photo Mondays #18


Temple of the silver pavilion in Kyoto

Temple of the silver pavilion in Kyoto,Travel Photo Mondays #18

The Temple of the Silver Pavilion or Ginkaku-Ji



Touring the Silver Pavilion in Kyoto during fall season

This week, I’m taking you to Kyoto to the visit the Temple of the Silver Pavilion and the start of fall. Although it’s still a little early for fall colors in Japan, the leaves were already starting to change colors at the temple. The Silver temple or Ginkaku-Ji as it is called was originally a retirement home to the Japanese shogun. It was later bequeathed and converted into a zen temple after his death. Unlike the Golden temple covered in gold leaf, plans to cover the two-story main pavilion in silver foil were long-delayed and never materialized with the death of the shogun. Still, the nick name stuck with westerners and the pavilion remains intact with its eclectic wabi-sabi (unfinished look) style of architecture amid a mature garden.

The grounds and gardens surrounding the temple are immaculately maintained and gardeners are constantly on site caring and creating a perfect zen environment. Late afternoon was the perfect timeframe to visit since most of the crowds have dissipated and the afternoon light cast a perfect glow to the landscape and fall foliage.


Highlights visiting the Temple of the Silver Pavilion


Adjoining pavilion for tea ceremonies

Adjoining pavilion for tea ceremonies





A gravel garden display

A gravel garden display





Temple of the silver pavilion in Kyoto,Travel Photo Mondays #18

Maple leaves turning colors


The garden is surrounded with mature maple trees that were just starting to turn colors in the early fall season. The tips of the branches more vivid in coloration – eventually the entire garden will burst into a riot of autumn colors. I’m glad I was able to get a glimpse of this transition even though I would not be able to see Kyoto in this amazing change and the lush green foliage turning colors throughout the temple grounds.


Japanese maples turning colors

Japanese maples turning colors


The gardens surrounding the pavilion grounds are quintessential Zen garden style with miniaturized (bonsai) trees and garden paths leading up the mountain with scenic views of the city and mountain range. It’s a spectacular view with lots of natural vistas, in spite of being on the edge of a busy and crowded metropolis. The Temple of the Silver Pavilion remains remote and quiet in its  tucked corner of the hills and urban sprawl – a wonderful respite for those wanting to meditate or enjoy some solitude. Just coming to visit and enjoy the beauty of the garden and the areas surrounding it is a totally different environment to the rest of bustling Kyoto.


Temple of the silver pavilion in Kyoto,Travel Photo Mondays #18

The pavilion in black and white





Temple of the silver pavilion in Kyoto,Travel Photo Mondays #18

Black and white landscape

Please check out these other posts on visiting Kyoto, Japan

Beautiful gardens of Kyoto, Japan

Nijo castle in Kyoto, Japan

Bento lunch in Kyoto, Japan

Golden temple at Kyoto, Japan

Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto

Looking for Geishas in Kyoto

Japanese street food or Yatai


Hope you enjoyed visiting the Temple of the silver pavilion in Kyoto for Travel Photo Mondays. Please come join me and enjoy some of these other posts and photographs below with some scenic places around the world.


If you like this post on Temple of the silver pavilion in Kyoto,Travel Photo Mondays, please consider subscribing to the blog by email  below – also I appreciate it if you could share this post with any of the social media buttons located below and around the post, thank you!


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26 Responses to Temple of the silver pavilion in Kyoto,Travel Photo Mondays #18

  1. Duke Stewart July 21, 2015 at 9:29 pm #


    I should’ve known you’d pull off such wonderful shots of Ginkakuji. This is certainly a must-see for those who go to Kyoto and has so much history behind it. It was one of the first things I saw when visiting Kyoto and mainly because of Donald Keene’s book about the architect and former shogun who put it together. It’s called Yoshimasa and the Silver Pavilion if you’d like a good historical read that mixes in art and culture.

    I didn’t get a chance to visit in the fall like you and had no idea that the site could get any more beautiful. One thing that did amaze me was just how colorful it still was in winter but man, your shots really make me want to go back during the fall. Thanks for sharing this Noel! I regret coming upon it two years later but honestly, I’d never have known without seeing the date. Your shots are timeless!

  2. Anwar November 3, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Beautiful photos. I love that Ginkaku-Ji, when I was in Kyoto several years ago. Makes me want to return and see more of the area.

  3. Ruth November 1, 2013 at 4:33 am #

    What a beautiful place! It seems so peaceful and noiseless.

  4. Andrea October 29, 2013 at 5:17 am #

    Hi Noel,

    I’m so happy to have found your blog, I’m a new follower and blogger.
    Thank you for hosting!

    • Noel October 29, 2013 at 7:25 am #

      Aloha and thanks for connecting and participating for the link up party

  5. Debbie October 28, 2013 at 5:43 am #

    Your pictures are beautiful. I’m sorry I can’t figure out how to link correctly. I can’t copy and paste from my laptop and don’t know how to correct my mistakes.

  6. Debbie October 28, 2013 at 5:41 am #

    I don’t understand why I keep messing up. I can’t copy and paste from my laptop… I can’t figure out how to remove the old or fix it. Your pictures are beautiful. It’s one of the many places I would love to visit. Debbie

  7. InsideJourneys October 28, 2013 at 4:59 am #

    Beautiful photos, as usual Noel. You’re right about the afternoon light. It paints everything with such a warm glow.
    Thanks for the tour!

  8. Erica Baker October 28, 2013 at 4:03 am #

    What a great way to link up with people. Thanks for sharing your great photos and for hosting!

  9. Dale October 27, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

    I never knew there was a silver temple in Kyoto when we were there last year and now that we’re in Europe it’s a little late to do anything about it, shame really.

    Maybe we’ll make another trip to Japan in the future and see it for ourselves. It certainly looks a lot more peaceful than the golden temple was when we were there.

  10. Life Images by Jill October 27, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    the gardens are so beautiful

  11. Deia @NomadWallet October 27, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

    Beautiful shots! I’ll Pinterest this so I remember to drop by this place when I visit. 🙂

  12. muzachan October 27, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    Great photos 🙂

  13. Marilyn Armstrong October 27, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    I always wanted to see the temple myself. Seeing them through your pictures is a good second choice.

  14. Marisol@TravelingSolemates October 27, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    Hi Noel, thanks for taking us to the Silver Pavilion. I like its “wabi-sabi” style (as well as the sound of i!) As much as I love the fall colds, your black and whilte shots are just so stunning.

  15. Mary {The World Is A Book} October 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    Beautiful temple and grounds. I love visiting Japanese temples and this one is just stunning. It really is a perfect spot for meditating or a quiet stroll. I haven’t been to Kyoto yet but this is on my travel wish list. You really captured the beauty and serenity of this special place.

    • Noel October 27, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

      Hi Mary it is a special place to visit especially in fall..thanks for connecting

  16. Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse October 27, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    Amazing pictures. The trees have such eerie shapes.


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