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Kennin-ji Temple

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Address: 584 Yamatooji Yojo-sagaru Komatsucho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0933, Kyoto Prefecture
Phone Number: +81 75-561-0190
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10:00 am - 4:30 pm
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Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Hidden gem in Gion

This is a great Zen temple in the heart of Gion. In addition to the impressive temple itself, you'll be able to see the replica paintings of national treasure, Fujin and Raijin... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 27, 2015
Tokyo and California

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282 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Tokyo and California
Level Contributor
56 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2015 NEW

This is a great Zen temple in the heart of Gion. In addition to the impressive temple itself, you'll be able to see the replica paintings of national treasure, Fujin and Raijin and very serene zen gardens.

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Level Contributor
51 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2015 NEW

Kyoto has more temples than anyone can hope to visit in several trips, let alone just one, and this one is, for me, one of the best, because it encapsulates everything - the different kinds of gardens, moss, sand, rock etc, the beautiful rooms opening onto each other, the little bridges, the lovely materials and the wonderfully tranquil atmosphere. Oh,... More 

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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2015

The oldest Zen temple in Kyoto, Kennin-ji Temple is an oasis of calm on the edge of Gion with a beautiful Zen garden. There are two highlights here: the pristine white dry gravel “Zen” garden and the two dragons painted on the roof of the adjoining Hodo Hall. This bold artwork was installed to commemorate the temple's 800th anniversary in... More 

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Los Angeles
Level Contributor
79 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2015

everything about this temple exudes peace tranquillity and understatement exemplified in the sand and stone gardens. sitting inside on a mat contemplating eternity made this the top temple visited in kyoto.

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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
50 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2015

This was a fascinating Buddhist Zen temple with many gardens and beautiful scenery. The temple is nestled between the touristy and busy streets around Ninenzaka and Gion – it seems like we stepped from the busy streets, literally right off the beaten path to this temple. Our guide knew all the right spots and vantage points to experience the best,... More 

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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
52 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2015 via mobile

We stumbled upon this temple as we wandered around the lovely small streets in the Gion area of Kyoto. So glad we did! This is a lovely place to wander around te gardens n its not crowded like alot of other temples/shrines in and around Kyoto. If you're in the 'Gion corner' walk directly to the end of the street.... More 

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

There are some temples and shrines in Kyoto that you really must see, but might not feel compelled to return to multiple times. I find Kennin-ji to be more peaceful, less crowded, and generally more enjoyable than some of the more heavily touristed temples or shrines. This is a terrific place to take pictures as it is much less crowded... More 

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Tuusula, Finland
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9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2015

Kennin-ji is beatiful temple. Centrally located and easy to access. Very good place to take photographs.

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Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Level Contributor
55 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2015

Great way to spend a rainy afternoon. The temple is quite large so there are many rooms to explore. The highlight was the twin dragons painted on the ceiling in the main hall, and the zen gardens are also masterful works of art. There is also a small path that leads off to the tea room, you can peak inside... More 

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Level Contributor
211 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2015

This temple is 800 years old and second oldest zen temple in Japan. Very relaxing atmpsphere in temple rooms, corridors and gardens. Zen design. Two dragons celling must see place. Located in Gion 5 minutes from geisha street. Very recommended.

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Staying in Gion

Neighborhood Profile
Gion is Kyoto's famed Geisha District (called "Geiko" in Kyoto). Though Gion's many tea houses and entertainment restaurants are closed to foreigners, Geiko and Maiko in their traditional makeup with gilded hair in full kimono can be seen drifting the streets on their way to and from work, where they fan dance, sing, and play instruments for customers. Gion lights up at night, when the ancient-looking streets glow with lanterns along the river, where weeping willows catch the starlight and the air is warmed with conversation. Groups pass through to populate the restaurants and bars along the riverfront, but Gion still manages to be a mostly quiet district, due in large part to limited automotive traffic through many of its streets. Gion is a wonderful place to indulge in Kyoto's local and customary cuisines, and is best enjoyed after dark.