Ginkaku-ji (the Temple of the Silver Pavilion) looks similar to Kinkaku-ji (the Temple of the Golden Pavilion), however while more than half of Kinkaku-ji is coated in gold, Ginkaku-ji is not coated in silver. There are a few theories as to why it got its name: some say it's due to the silver of the rock garden near the pavilion; others say it was originally planned to be coated in silver, but the budget blew out; or maybe it was just a nick name given to it because it looks so similar to Kinkaku-ji. Whatever the reason, it's certainly a beautiful temple and it's probably a good thing it's not coated in silver, because it would be a pain to deal with the tarnish!
This photo was actually taken today (March 3rd) which happens to be the day of the Doll Festival (Hina Matsuri) in Japan. The only other time I've been to Ginkaku-ji is around a year and a half ago. Unfortunately on the first time there, I was too late in the day for the good light. This time I checked Google Maps' satellite photograph first to figure out what time of day would be good.
Most Kyoto travel guides tell you to catch a bus all the way from Kyoto station to Ginkaku-ji, don't do that unless you want to spend half your time in Kyoto sitting on a cramped bus slowly chugging it's way through Kyoto's traffic! Here's the fast way: catch a train on the Keihan Main Line to Demachiyanagi; take the exit which goes to the north side of Imadegawa Dori (outside of Shojoin temple); catch a bus from there heading east; it's about a 2.4km bus trip from there in a not so busy part of Kyoto. There are a number of other temples and plenty of interesting and inexpensive restaurants within walking distance from Ginkaku-ji. It's also possible from near Ginkaku-ji to get buses which head west along Imadegawa Dori to places like Kitano Temangu Shrine and Kinkaku-ji on a not so congested route.
This photo was taken with a Nikon D700 camera and an AF Nikkor 35f/2D lens with a circular polarising filter. While the straight from the camera JPEG was pretty good, I opted to process the raw file in iPhoto to get the image I'm presenting here. Edits I made included cropping to 5:7 ratio, sharpening, warming, decreasing highlight levels and increasing shadow levels. I'm beginning to feel iPhoto is rather limited in what it can do with raw files, maybe I should upgrade to Aperture or get DxO Optics Pro instead. Any suggestions?