Kinkaku-ji | Kyoto, Japan

Never in my life have I ever seen anything like Kinkaku-ji. After living in Korea for two years, I've seen so many different kinds of Asian temples, but nothing like this! The name translates to Temple of the Golden Pavilion and was originally a villa built in 1397 by a powerful statesman. In 1950, the villa burnt down when a monk attempted suicide. Afterward the pavilion was rebuilt in 1955. It's a close replica to the original villa and was covered with pure gold-leaf.

I loved Kinkaku-ji and the surrounding gardens were absolutely beautiful. It does get a bit busy with tourists but it's definitely a must-see when you're in Kyoto!