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Built in the 14th century as a residence for a retired shogun, Kinkakuji is one of Japan’s best known and most admired buildings. Turned into a Zen Temple on the shogun’s death, the temple became a place of peace and tranquillity in a quiet corner of Kyoto – its main hall covered in layers of gold leaf, its beauty captured in the rippling waters of a reflecting pool. Set in lovely gardens, the temple is unmissable in any season – be it snowy in the winter, amongst the cherry blossom or red and orange leaves in spring and autumn, or backed by lush greenery in the summer. Kinkakuji is one of the 17 sites and monuments that are UNESCO World Heritage-listed in Kyoto.
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