The owner of the Ginkakuji temple wanted to cover it in silver similarly to what his grandpa had done with the Kinkakuji (the golden temple). The economy was not good at that time and he could never afford the silver to cover it. The temple is still very famous for its beautiful gardens, and one can get a very nice view of Kyoto within a short distance walk in the hillside garden.
The Kinkakuji temple was covered in gold by its owner and because of its unique golden look, is one of the most famous temple in Kyoto. The story tells that the grandson of this man also tried cover a temple in precious metal but because of difficult times he could only use silver, the silver temple (Ginkakuji).