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Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto

4.1
#9 of 697 in Historic Sites in Kyoto
Religious Site · Tourist Spot
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With a history spanning over five centuries, Ryoanji Temple boasts probably the nation's most iconic rock garden. Founded in 1450, the temple stands atop an even older aristocrat's residence. The garden notably features 15 rocks of varying sizes and shapes spread out across the surface, each surrounded by a small patch of moss. Think about the mysterious symbolism of the garden, which features a design that obscures at least one rock from view from all angles. Afterwards, wander the extensive temple grounds, which boast a number of walking trails, shrines, flowering trees, and a pond. Wrap up you visit with a quick meal at the onsite cafe. Plan to see Ryoanji Temple and other attractions that appeal to you using our Kyoto trip planner.
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Ryoanji Temple reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
2,600 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Absolutely stunning World Heritage Zen garden. The stone garden is so calming - sit on the wooden steps and treat yourself to some relaxation and contemplation as you take the simple beauty in. The... 
    Absolutely stunning World Heritage Zen garden. The stone garden is so calming - sit on the wooden steps and treat yourself to some relaxation and contemplation as you take the simple beauty in. The...  more »
  • Beautiful and meditative experience. You can sit quietly and regard the garden. Cute and shaded place to sit and drink tea and eat ice cream right outside the gates of the temple grounds. 
    Beautiful and meditative experience. You can sit quietly and regard the garden. Cute and shaded place to sit and drink tea and eat ice cream right outside the gates of the temple grounds.  more »
Google
  • Top-tier location among a competitive field of World Heritage sites in Kyoto. Free bike parking, amazing garden with 100+ acres associated with the grounds, and a beautiful zen garden. The souvenirs shop by the garden has unique items I’ve never seen before and is reasonably priced. A top spot to visit and significantly less crowded than other, more well known, sites.
  • Quite a nice place to visit. The garden is beautiful but the whole visit is a bit short and leaves you wanting a bit more. You have to take your shoes off before getting inside.

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