From futuristic skyscrapers and robots serving you food to tranquil Zen gardens and refined temples, Japan is a country of contrasts.


The ancient capital Kyoto is known for its art, history and culture, so it won’t come as a surprise to tell you that there are over 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in this part of Japan alone.


One of the most stunning of these sites is Kinkaku-ji, the golden pavilion. Built in 1393, this temple was originally constructed as a retirement villa for a military governor.


Covered in gold, Kinkaku-ji sits at the edge of Kyokochi pond and reflects brilliantly in its water. It’s a temple that looks stunning all year round and will leave visitors wanting to visit to experience its beauty in every season.


While I only experienced Kinkaku-ji in summer, I long to see it surrounded by the red leaves of autumn and the powdery white snow of winter. Even after visiting countless temples and shrines across Japan, Kinkaku-ji has always remained my favorite.



Originally from Chicago, Beth got her first true taste of travel when she studied abroad in Japan during her final year of university. She ended up loving Asia so much, she found herself moving right back upon graduation and is currently living in Hong Kong. Armed with her camera and a passion for travel, she is on a mission to photograph the world– proving that you can work the normal “9-5” and still find time to travel. You can find her on the web at Besudesu AbroadFacebook and Twitter.


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