Silver Pavilion

Kyoto, Japan

The first thing to notice about the Silver Pavilion is that it is not, in fact, covered in silver. Ginkaku-ji (1483), today a Rinzai Zen temple, was the Kyoto palace of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1436-1490), grandson of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu who built the Golden Pavilion. The Silver Pavilion is the only remaining building of what was then a huge villa-palace complex. Later neglected but never destroyed, the present structure is the fifteenth-century original, now restored to its pristine state.