Ginkakuji is best known as the Silver Pavilion and was built in 1482. Unlike its golden counterpart Kinkakuji, Ginkakuji Temple is not actually plated with silver. However, the elegant temple is still a beautiful example of Japanese landscape architecture. Modelled after the Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), this serene Zen temple used to be a private villa.
The Zen temple's official name is Jisho-ji, but is most commonly referred to by its alleged silver exterior. Before it was converted into a temple, Ginkakuji was meant to be a retirement villa for Ashikaga Yoshimasa. After his death, he willed for the building to be converted into the Rinzai Zen Temple it is today. The Kannon-den is a two-storied structure that was designed after Kinkakuji, and was initially planned to be covered in silver foil. Unfortunately, these plans never got fulfilled as the Onin War delayed construction. Eventually, Yoshimasa passed on before his wish was realized.
Other than the buildings, Ginkakuji is also home to one of Kyoto's most famous Japanese gardens. The zen temple garden is said to have been designed by famous landscape artist Soami, and provided a calming space for Yoshimasa during the height of the Onin War.
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