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Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto

(3.8/5 based on 1,700+ reviews on the web)
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. Take a look at our Kyoto trip generator to schedule your visit to Ryoanji Temple and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We would not have visited this Temple but for the proprietor of a wine bar in Kyoto recommending this temple to us. In a day of temple and shrine viewing, I enjoyed this the most due to it being so un...  more »
  • Ryoanji has a beautiful stone garden which is its main attraction. It is about 20 minutes wlalk from the famous Kinkakuji. There is a nice pond and some other smaller structure. Worth a quick visit. 
  • A peaceful rock garden where you can just zone out for a little while. I think there is an entrance fee of 500 yen to get in, but worth it if you want to see a different type of garden!