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Ryoanji Temple

13 Ryoanji Goryonoshitacho, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-8001, Japan
+81 75-463-2216
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Ranked #26 of 371 attractions in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Religious Sites
346 visitor photos
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541 reviews from our community

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English first
Woodbridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
41 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

The Ryoanji temple is another of the popular Kyoto temples most famously for the 15 rocks in the shingle bed. For me there were too many people around to really enjoy the experience. By contrast the walk around and into the island on the lake was far more relaxing and a lot quieter. In terms of overall space I think... More

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Zurich, Switzerland
Top Contributor
136 reviews 136 reviews
108 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014

Conveniently located along the JR bus route, this temple is just a short walk from the stop or easy to walk to from the Golden Pagoda. The garden outside is wonderful and a great warm-up to the actual temple and zen garden. You will be asked to show your ticket again and to take off your shoes. Take a moment... More

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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2014

Relaxing atmosphere. Take your time in the intriguing zen dry garden. Stroll around the beautiful landscape garden.

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Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
57 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

At first I didn't know what to think of a stone garden, but when I entered this mystical place all doubts were blown away. The garden is really impressive and makes you ponder about the thoughts behind hind. It is surrounded by a nice park with a beautiful lake that is perfect for a relaxing walk.

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Speers Point, Australia
Top Contributor
348 reviews 348 reviews
173 attraction reviews
184 helpful votes 184 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

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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Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

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
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
4 reviews 4 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
15 helpful votes 15 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
63 reviews 63 reviews
45 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 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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