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Jisho-ji (Ginkaku) is the key base of the Higashiyama culture, the cradle of Japanese culture.

Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the 8th shogun of the Muromachi shogunate based in Kyoto, initiated the construction of his private villa in Higashiyama, Kyoto, in 1473. He passed away before the completion of the villa though, he set about living here during construction. His life here was tasteful as he pursued paintings and calligraphic works as well as the tea ceremony. Present Jisho-ji Temple, made up of Ginkaku Silver Pavilion, Togu-do Buddha house and Japanese gardens, is a part of this villa. His villa consisted of several big buildings surrounded by refined Japanese gardens, and was equivalent in size to his grandfather Ashikaga Yoshimitsu’s villa, Rokuon-ji Kinkaku in Kitayama. Traditional Japanese room with tatami, tokono-ma, shoji and fusuma, tea ceremony, zen-style dry landscape gardens (karesansui) were born here. Japanese culture characterized by refined simplicity (wabi-sabi) stems from this villa. By the way, there are funny white sand installations close by Ginkaku Pavilion. They are supposed to illuminate Ginkaku by the reflected moonlight.


Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.

全国通訳案内士 高木聖久。




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