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Expect heavy crowds year-round. Open 9 AM - 5 PM each day, year-round.
To avoid the crowds:
- Arrive early. A couple of minutes before the gates open at 9:00 AM.
- You could arrive late around 4 PM and stay till 5 PM. Then you have the last couple of minutes almost for yourself to take great photos.
- Avoid weekends, go mid-week.
Kinkaku-ji is probably Kyoto's most famous temples attracting a huge number of visitors each year. It's a Zen Buddhist temple which was built at the end of the 14th century. The scene is very impressive. In particular the reflection of the golden pavilion and the trees on the water is fascinating.