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Nanzen-ji Temple, Kyoto

(1,600+ reviews on the web)
Garden Religious Site
Tucked up against lush hills, Nanzen-ji Temple remains one of the nation's most important Zen Buddhist places of worship. As you enter through the massive 17th-century main gate into the forested grounds, remember to take moment to enjoy the view over the surrounding city. You'll then walk across a complex originally built in the late 13th century, dotted with smaller shrines from the following four centuries. Explore the many ponds and gardens to discover other points of interest, including historic teahouses, sub-temples with sliding wooden doors, and a few peaceful rock gardens. Put Nanzen-ji Temple on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Kyoto travel itinerary maker.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We hugely enjoyed this quiet temple complex. The enormous gateless triple gate is worthy of the trip on its own. After marveling at its size and beauty, walk to the back side and pay 500 yen to climb ...  more »
  • I'm reviewing this on hindsight, as it was last autumn when I was in Kyoto, but I felt that Kyoto in autumn was at its most beautiful and vivid red to me at the grounds of Nanzen-ji Temple. We roamed ...  more »
  • This temple is a favorite of mine. You can see the main part without paying. My family really liked it. Be sure to take a short rest by the little spring on the right side under the aquaduct.  more »
Google
  • Big and old temple. It looks fabulous as the green mountains just behind the temple. Especially recommended during cherry blossom.
  • In order to walk through the temple and its buildings, you must take off your shoes before you walk on the wooden floors. There are slippers that are provided to you should you wish to wear something. There are a few places in the temple that require a bit of climbing and the stairs are a little steep, but it is nothing to be concerned about if care is take on the steps. While there is not much in terms of artefacts to see, walking through the temple is more about admiring the landscape surrounding the temple and realising that the temple is quite extensive. There is a small entrance fee to go in - if you have bought either the one day or two day Kyoto pass then you can use the discount coupons attached to the maps given to you upon purchase of your passes.
  • It was drizzling when I visited Nanzen-ji, so there were only few people there. I could roamed freely over the temple and took photograph. It's a majestic temple I appreciated. Overall it was quite a pleasant experience
  • “My favorite temple!” Spent 7 days in Japan (Tokyo and Kyoto) and by far this was my favorite temple. I was able to get there super early in the morning and that made all the difference. Lovely, quiet and calming all at the same time. Note that as the morning wore on, the tour buses showed up and tons of tourists made it..
  • Free entry. Spacious enough for you to walk around and enjoy for 2 hours or more. Old-time aqueduct definitely highlight of the place!