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Kyoto’s golden heart

Despite being torched down over 60 years ago, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion has been restored to its former beauty…

Think this temple in Kyoto is beautiful? Probably not as much as the fanatical monk who burned the place down in 1950.

Having literally fallen in love with Kinkaku-ji, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, he couldn’t bear the thought of having to share its beauty with anyone else. So he torched the place… naturally.

Thankfully, the Japanese take as much pride in their heritage as their sushi preparation and restored the national treasure to its former splendour.

Glistening in the sun with gold leaf and perched on the edge of a lake, the original Zen Buddhist temple dates back to 1397 and is surrounded by a quintessentially Japanese garden that changes dramatically with the seasons.

One of 17 locations in the city that form the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto World Heritage Site, it can be reached by hopping on a tourist-friendly bus.

Just don’t let the temple’s beauty drive you insane with love…

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This article appeared in issue 18

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