Only a 2 minute walk to the historical Ginkakuji temple at the base of the eastern (Higashiyama) mountain, and 1 minute from the scenic Path of Philosophy, Ginkaku-An is located about 35 minutes by bus from Kyoto station. Just in from the main approach to Ginkakuji, the location is very quiet, and one can truly feel the beauty of the changing seasons there.
The great appeal of Ginkaku-An is not only the warmth, clean at-home quality, and privacy of its facilities, but its superior location. From here, you have easy access to the most well-know and charming spots in Kyoto, from Ginkakuji temple itself just up the hill, to the walking course provided by the Path of Philosophy, famous for its spectacular cherry blossoms in the spring, and changing leaves in the fall.
Walking south along the Path of Philosophy, you will come across famous sites and Zen temples of Kyoto one after the next, from Honen-In, to Eikan-Do with its magnificent fall leaves, to the Zen temple of Nanzen-ji, famous in Japanese literature. Climbing its great gate, you will have a panoramic view of the city, the temple itself is famous for its Zen garden, and where you can sample Japanese green tea, and there is also aqueduct, which is the starting place for the canal that becomes the Path of Philosophy (the water actually is brought from Lake Biwa). The adjacent tofu restaurants are also a must for any Japanese or foreign visitor.
Also from Ginkaku-An, heading back in the direction of the city, it is a short bus ride (although walkable) to Heian Shrine, for a real taste of ancient Kyoto, and the adjacent museums which include the Kyoto National Museum, which holds many traditional and international exhibits, and the Kyoto Museum of Modern Art just across the street.
A bus ride north from Ginkaku-An will take you up the mountain of Hiei to the ancient Buddhist temple of Enryakuji, one of the oldest in Japan that has produced many of the great Buddhist and Zen masters. Not to mention, the view of Lake Biwa and the majestic trees are a sight to see. From there, you can even take a cable car down the other side of the mountain to Miidera in Sakamoto, all of this accomplishable in one day.
Using the convenient one-day bus pass (500 yen for the whole day) available from Kyoto city, please enjoy sightseeing in Kyoto to your heart's content. It is about 4 minutes from Ginkaku-An to the closest bus stop, where many different buses going to different locations around the city pass through. The taxi stand is only 3 minutes away, and the taxis run late into the night.
Along the main approach to Ginkakuji temple, you can enjoy shopping for all types of souvenirs, including the performance of the sale of the famous ''Yatsuhashi'' (a triangular-shaped gummy rice cake with sweet bean paste in it), and many quaint coffee shops. Nearby, there are a number of restaurants serving Japanese, Chinese, and Western-style foods, and two supermarkets. The bank and post office are less than ten minutes (on foot) away.
Although of course there is a bath at Ginkaku-An, you can also try the nearby Japanese public bath for a small charge. By bus or train, within one hour you can have the full Japanese hot spring experience at either Arashiyama Hot Springs or Kurama Hot Springs, and about 15 minutes away you can go to the Kita Shirakawa Rajumu Hot Springs.
At Ginkaku-An, on the second floor there is a study with a bed, so you can take your time to relax, write, paint, or do other types of creative activities. We also have both ADSL and Wi-Fi Internet connection.