The name Kinkaku is derived from the gold leaf that the pavilion is covered in. Gold was an important addition to the pavilion because of its underlying meaning.
The gold employed was to mitigate and purify any pollution or negative thoughts and feelings towards death
The present pavilion structure dates from 1955, when it was rebuilt.The pavilion is three stories high, approximately 12.5 meters in height.
The top two stories of the pavilion are covered with pure gold leaf.
We visited on a glorious sunny day which made the pavilion literally glow - almost to the point of being painful to look at!
It really is a stunning sight, mirrored in its lake with the green trees around it.
The location implements the idea of borrowing of scenery (shakkei) that integrates the outside and the inside, creating an extension of the views surrounding the pavilion and connecting it with the outside world.
The pavilion extends over a pond, called Kyōko-chi (Mirror Pond), that reflects the building.
The pond contains 10 smaller islands. The zen typology is seen through the rock composition, the bridges, and plants are arranged in a specific way to represent famous places in Chinese and Japanese literature.