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Ryoanji Temple

13 Ryoanji Goryonoshitacho, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-8001, Japan
+81 75-463-2216
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Ranked #23 of 368 attractions in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Religious Sites
343 visitor photos
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528 reviews from our community

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Speers Point, Australia
Top Contributor
333 reviews 333 reviews
162 attraction reviews
176 helpful votes 176 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014 NEW

Japan's most famous Hiraniwa (flat zen garden / no pond) left me a little flat (excuse the pun)! Hugely popular and surely simple and harmonious but quite frankly I found the rock gardens in the temple grounds to be more attractive - perhaps I needed more time to appreciate the simplicity? Pluses: Close to Kinkaku-ji (short bus ride), nice pond... More

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Portugal
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014 NEW

The expectations were high visiting Ryoan-ji, but nothing prepared us for the gorgeous outside gardens or the zen-like feeling when we were faced with the rock garden. It's so odd that we'd be so attracted to a dry garden with seemingly randomly placed rocks, but somehow it all makes sense and has a soothing effect. After Kiyomizu-dera, Ryoan-ji was truly... More

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Hong Kong, China
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

Ryoanji has beautiful Japanese gardens, which in themselves make it a lovely place to spend some time. But then there's the famous Zen Rock Garden which left me quite speechless. Not sure what it is about the simple white gravel with 5 or 6 rock mounds in its 10m x 25m enclosure, but there is definitely something magical about it.... More

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Kingston, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

Have seen this garden many times in gardening books... It is all the more magical in person. A very serene and restful location... Must see if you are a gardener

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Townsville, Australia
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
36 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

Not knowing anything about meditation or Zen Buddhism, we were interested to see what was so special about 15 rocks and their arrangement - what made this a perfect Zen garden? Our family sat for quite some time admiring the garden and contemplating its meaning and ended up staying there much longer than expected and left quite relaxed. We appreciated... More

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Honolulu, Hawaii
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
40 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

Wasn't sure what to expect when I visited this famous zen garden. However, the entire experience from time you enter, removing your shoes and then walking on the wooden floors of the old temple to the zen garden prepares you for what you will see. The dark rooms of the temple open up to the rock garden. Visitors sit along... More

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hong kong
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
18 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

The rock garden in Ryoanji is synonymous with Kyoto and a quintessential visit. Visited there around 4pm to avoid the group tour, there was a small crowd but quite peaceful in general. Try to spend some time in the garden and relax, it takes time to soak in.

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Leeds, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
259 reviews 259 reviews
129 attraction reviews
185 helpful votes 185 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

Unless you know about meditation and can ignore the low murmurings of travellers trying to figure out the rock garden then it will probably be just 15 rocks sat on gravel. Nice enough to visit and say you have been. I also found it impressive that no blade of grass exists in the rockery. To me, the lake and surrounding... More

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Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
23 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

Ryoanji Temple is only a short walk from the more publicly visited golden pavilion. The grounds contain a nice lake with gardens / path circling, and at the rear is the main temple with the rock garden. To be honest I enjoyed the rock garden more at the silver pavilion than here - perhaps I had too much expectations, but... More

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Stockholm
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
24 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

Nice temple in a surrounding garden, but what makes it standout is really the rock garden created for zen meditation.

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