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Ryoanji Temple

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Northern Kyoto
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Address: 13 Ryoanji Goryonoshitacho, Kyoto 616-8001, Kyoto Prefecture
Phone Number: +81 75-463-2216
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Today
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
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Famous gardens for all seasons

This temple is best known for its beautiful gardens, each side in a completely different style. Expect to spend quite some time sitting and looking at the gardens. This the way to... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 29, 2015
Laszlo K

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English first
Level Contributor
77 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2015 NEW

This temple is best known for its beautiful gardens, each side in a completely different style. Expect to spend quite some time sitting and looking at the gardens. This the way to discover the fine details and to enjoy the beauty.

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
250 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2015 NEW

I've been to Ryoan-ji three times in my life. Once in 1966, in 1989 and now in 2015. While there are many temples and gardens in Kyoto, this is one of my favorites. It tends to be less crowded than most and is serene even in the summer heat. We took the time to sit and meditate a bit and... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Level Contributor
28 reviews
19 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2015 NEW

We enjoyed this temple more than other more popular temples in Kyoto, basically because it was not too crowded. I guess many tourists skip this place due to tight schedules. We made the visit early in the morning and enjoyed it pretty much. Plan 30-40 mins for the visit. It is open from 8am, an hour earlier than the Kinkaku-ji... More 

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Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
95 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2015

The famous Zen Garden inside the temple is known for his features (simple rectangle with 15 stones, all of them never visible in the same time from any location), and for the unexplained concept the artist intended to express. I need to be frank, I was not caught by that magic, and it really seemed a bunch of stones

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Miami, Florida
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17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2015

I enjoyed visiting this temple. However, if my time in Kyoto was really limited I would prefer visiting other temples and shrines.

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Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2015

It's an iconic place! Just sit, breathe, watch the stones and gravel, and observe what they trigger in your mind. The thing the place would benefit from is a "silence, please" sign. So come early in the day!

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Walnut Creek, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2015

Very beautiful garden and short walk from the Golden temple. The zen garden was a bit of a disappointment but that could be my lack of education on these types of gardens. Definitely worth seeing, and garden is mature and shady which was nice for a hot August afternoon.

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Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2015

My husband and I stopped at the zen garden as part of our guided city tour. It is a very beautiful grounds and zen garden. It was busy which detracted from the ability to just enjoy the simplicity, but it did not make it an unenjoyable experience. It's worth a visit!

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Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2015

We have been on two separate occasions. This was one attraction we just could not pass up on our second trip to Kyoto. The garden is a very special one that at first glance may seem simplistic, which upon reflecting is what makes it so magical. It is a place you always wish you had to yourself. Allow 1 hour,... More 

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
26 reviews
24 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2015

amazing emptiness, it could be zen-like. Like a children's painting near a Rembrand. just one question: Why this? 1000 other options are possible. But first is first, like a Mondrian.

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Staying in Northern Kyoto

Neighborhood Profile
Northern Kyoto
Hot springs and historic temples characterize the leafy landscapes of Northern Kyoto. Acres of tranquil residential streets are interrupted by some of Kyoto's most gorgeous architectural gems, including the majestic Golden Pavilion of Kinkakuji, the serene artistry of the Ryoanji Temple rock gardens, and the bold red paint across the structures of Enryakuji Temple. Once a religious core of the city, the district now boasts some of its most remote and peaceful hot springs, as well as a few of its best family-run mom-and-pop restaurants. A blend of extremely local at its outskirts, and highly peopled at its tourist centers, Northern Kyoto nonetheless retains a halcyon air in harmony with nature.