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Nanzen-ji Temple, Kyoto

4.4
#2 of 77 in Parks in Kyoto
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. Make Nanzen-ji Temple part of your personalized Kyoto itinerary using our Kyoto trip app .
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Nanzen-ji Temple Reviews
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1,846 reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • As we were early for the gardens we just walked the grounds. Very nice and quiet and liked the aqueduct, it made for unusual photographs in a Japanese garden. Try not to miss this one.  more »
  • It is a waterway nanzen-JI a famous Instagram building. They lingered to take spot can feel the history of Japan's young people are good photos, was not in a very good mood.
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  • You can enjoy the seasonal look whenever you visit. Personally I like fresh green of early summer. Tofu kaiseki restaurants located nearby and guests can enjoy.
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Google
  • A wonderful place to stroll around. Have to pay to see into some of the temples or climb the gate. It is not as crowded as some of the other temples in Kyoto and it has a beautiful garden. Highly recommended.
  • Great place to go for a walk or to take pictures! There are some special japanese gardens and temple viewings where you need to pay an entrance fee of 500 yen, but most of the temple area is free. Usually there are many tourists.
  • So far, this is the only temple in Kyoto that I find truly exemplifies what a temple should be like, tranquil, serene, peaceful and old. It's not flashy and not commercialized. The architecture is absolutely what you would imagine a traditional buddhist temple should be like. Beautiful scenery, nice, quiet, and awesome buildings with architecture that can withstand thousands of years. My favorite temple in Kyoto if not the entire Japan.
  • Because of its convenient location with easy access by Kyoto subway and because it does not charge admission fee for its center garden, the Temple is popular, especially for Spring Cherry blossom and Fall Leave seasons. However, Nanzen-ji Temple can be specially attractive in small or moderate rainy days or between 09-11AM and between 03PM to 04PM of the sunny days when sunshine can shine on or reflect on black [ and other color] brick roof of temple's various gates and wall roof. Different timing of sunshine will make roof bricks so splendid with subtle difference sometimes and so vivid shiny sometimes. Another attractive time is early morning, when temple is just open in the early morning and when there are only a few visitors. In addition to center yard or garden, visitors may want to stop by red-brick "Sosui" [or water canal in English], which is waterway from Lake Biwa [of Otsu] to Kyoto and which was built more than 130 years ago. . The Fee-based worship garden is also worthy of visit, although not many tourists stop by. Like many other Japanese temples, which have tradition, history, and attractions and which will charge entrance admission for these "special attractions", such as Main Hall, Rear Garden, Sutra Library, Nanzen-ji also charges entrance fee for its garden in the east side of Main Yard. However, tourists from bus tour group generally will miss these entrance-fee-based attractions, when tour groups generally do not include these special attractions of the temples as focus part of any temple visit.
  • Serene place but not much to do besides walking in circles. Extra pretty in autumn.

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