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Ryoanji Temple

Certificate of Excellence
Northern Kyoto
As featured in 3 Days in Kyoto and 3 other guides
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Address: 13 Ryoanji Goryonoshitacho, Kyoto 616-8001, Kyoto Prefecture
Name/address in local language
Phone Number: +81 75-463-2216
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Book In Advance
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and up
Kyoto Morning Tour: Kyoto Imperial Palace, Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle
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Private Custom Tour: Kyoto in One Day
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Scholar-led Small-Group Kyoto Walking Tour: Japanese Gardens and Landscape

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,600 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 341
  • 259
    Very good
  • 101
  • 31
  • 10
Attractive gardens and lucky with the crowds

On the day we visited we were fortunate that there weren't hordes of people. We were able to sit in contemplation in front of the "rocks" with little disturbance. We then took a... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 days ago
Leo R
Singapore, Singapore
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1,600 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 742: English reviews
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Would do it if it was free however its really nothing fantastic. Most guides says that you can sit and "ponder the meaning of existance/etc" but its kind of hard to do with the hoards of people going in and out of the place. Was not worth the admission or the walk to get there for me.

Thank Andrew_SHM
Balmain, Australia
Level Contributor
528 reviews
187 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 277 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

On quite a large site the temple grounds include a very large lake which, if the weather is still, provides som amazing reflections. The site is perhaps best known for its superb Zen garden of stones positioned within a stone rectangle, which is a very popular attraction. A beautiful and peaceful site that needs a couple of hours to appreciate

Thank jrandsk
Level Contributor
204 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

One of our favorites to walk around. Pretty gardens, an interesting little rock garden (and the rest of the the real gardens around the rock garden are very pretty), and not too crowded. Close to kinkaku-ji which you can stop into to take a picture and run out of (too crowded for strolling) and walk down here for a more... More 

Thank AAndTMD
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
113 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We had a guide to show us some of the sights in Kyoto and when he mentioned a rock garden my wife was keen to add it to our list. However the rock garden is just that - an area of gravel containing 15 rocks of various shapes and sizes arranged so there is no location where you can see... More 

Thank MushroomTraveller
Mazatlan, Mexico
Level Contributor
48 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

This became one of my favorite temples in Kyoto It is just so peaceful and quiet The rock garden is just simple but it has something that makes you just stop and take it all in It is a must when in Kyoto

Thank lamelissa
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
132 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

On the day we visited we were fortunate that there weren't hordes of people. We were able to sit in contemplation in front of the "rocks" with little disturbance. We then took a stroll around the attractive gardens.

Thank Leo R
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

If you haven't been here and just sat for 30 or 40 minutes, you can't understand Kyoto. Do it once in your life.

Thank trippers111
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
264 reviews
120 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The main feature of the Ryoanji Temple is the so called Zen garden but silent contemplation of the 15 rocks is difficult when surrounded by hordes of tourists ! A lovely tranquil place if you can get away from your fellow humans and enjoy the rest of the garden and the pond .

Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We went to this temple and with all the walking we came to a place to look at rocks. I think it's one of those places you should study as so many people was so amazed by it but I think I didn't see the or understood what it is about. So you pay to go into a shrine and... More 

Thank Annie A
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I was prepared to be underwhelmed after having seen about five other dry rock zen gardens in Kyoto. There is something about this garden being the most famous of them all that gave me concerns I would be disappointed. I was not. This is a most beautiful, spare, relaxed yet formal garden. The surrounding wall keeps the focus on the... More 

Thank David B

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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.
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