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Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto

4.1
#8 of 684 in Historic Sites in Kyoto
Religious Site · Tourist Spot
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 4.0
2,596 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • I wouldn't consider myself a particularly spiritual person, but I do recall our visit to the Ryoan-Ji Temple and its main attraction the Zen rock garden quite vividly. It was a mix of irony, awe and.....  more »
  • A beautiful temple in lovely condition with many interesting artifacts. The garden is a supreme example of the traditional Japanese Garden. Both are great for photography.  more »
Google
  • The most original and imaginative place in Japan. I have been three times to this garden and always found something new and unexpected. The best way to enjoy the garden is simply sit down and look at the stones and sand. The more you gaze the more images emerge in your mind. Late evening, when there are fewer visitors, is best time to enjoy the place
  • A beautiful temple in lovely condition with many interesting artifacts. The garden is a supreme example of the traditional Japanese Garden. Both are great for photography.
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