Kinkakuji is certainly one of the most famous, if not the most famous spot in Kyoto. It certainly is beautiful, and most visitors to Kyoto visit it. At the same time, this isn’t an authentic building (the original was burned down by a deranged monk in 1950) – this is well known. If you look at pictures from before 1950, the current building doesn’t even resemble the old one (the style is the same, but the colors are different). Still, it’s quite close to Ryoanji Temple, so most people combine both. It isn’t too big, so an hour or so should be enough time for it. It can be a bit crowded at times, but is worth it just to go.
Kinkakuji is open from 9:00 to 5:00 throughout the year. It is 400 yen for adults and 300 yen for elementary and middle school students.
You can get there by the 205 or 101 bus from JR Kyoto station and the 51 or 59 bus from Shijo Kawaramachi station.
Here’s the map: