This golden temple is the retirement villa of the shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. The temple and other buildings in the complex have had to be rebuilt multiple times because of fire and war. This most recent temple was constructed in 1955 and the top two floors were covered in gold leaf.

Each floor represents a different style of architecture. The first was in the Shinden style used for palace buildings during the Heian Period with its natural wood pillars and white plaster walls. Statues of the Shaka Buddha and Yoshimitsu are stored on this floor as well.

The second floor was constructed in the Bukke style used in samurai homes. Inside there is a seated Kannon Bodhisattva surrounded by statues of the Four Heavenly Kings. However, these statues are not shown to the public. The third and top floor is built in the style of Chinese Zen Hall and is gilded inside and out and even capped with a golden phoenix.

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Kristal Ham

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