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Kennin-ji Temple

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Address: 584 Yamatooji Yojo-sagaru Komatsucho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0933, Kyoto Prefecture
Name/address in local language
Phone Number: +81 75-561-0190
10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
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Scholar-led Kyoto Walking Tour: Shintoism and Buddhism in Japan
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Private Scholar-led Kyoto Walking Tour: Shintoism and Buddhism in Japan

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 481 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 86
  • 28
    Very good
  • 2
  • 0
  • 0
Very few tourists!

Utterly beautiful and quiet. The restoration is done well and the gardens are exquisite. Less touristy than other temples.

5 of 5 starsReviewed 3 weeks ago
Chicago, Illinois
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481 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 116: English reviews
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Utterly beautiful and quiet. The restoration is done well and the gardens are exquisite. Less touristy than other temples.

Thank hanlievanwyk
Totnes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Sitting in Kennin-ji admiring the raked gravel garden it's hard not to feel the spirituality and tranquility of the temple. It's a very far cry from the overcrowded popular temples. It's worth going just to admire the Twin Dragons, 108 tatami mats in size, on a ceiling. Amazing and restored our faith in Kyoto.

Thank Simon W
Osan, South Korea
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This place is loaded with breathtaking artwork. It also offers a beautiful rock garden and moss garden. Best of all, it's not slammed with tourists. Therefore, you will enjoy of the above mentioned in peace.

Thank jennifer m
Level Contributor
26 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Kenyan-ji temple was a pleasant surprise. We were wandering around Gion when we came across the temple. It was a serene oasis after a hectic trip to Kyoto. Peaceful and free of the hordes of tourists at other sites. I would highly recommend a visit.

Thank 355zaibam
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Better experience than the nearby shrines and temples simply by the virtue that this place was not crowded. The staff were very friendly and you are welcome to take photos in this temple.

Thank LindyMeow
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
166 reviews
89 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Kennin-ji is best reached by walking down through the lovely wooden houses of Gion from Shijo-dori. It's tucked away at the bottom far from the cars and the crowds. It's a wonderful place famous for its zen garden and its twin dragon ceiling. You explore in bare feet or the sandals they provide. The twin dragons are impressive - I... More 

Thank tarostra
Tampere, Finland
Level Contributor
347 reviews
147 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

Last day in Kyoto and last temple I saw. I planned to visit only the gardens but changed my mind and bought the ticket to the temple as well. Boy, was it worth it. It is one of the best temples I visited in Japan, zen appeals to me very much. The best rock gardens are inside, also thd temple... More 

1 Thank pepics
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2016

This is the only temple among those in the city where i felt relaxed and not overwhelmed by the tourist crowd. Walking in the actual temple building bare feed, people are quiet and the small zen dry gardens in inner courtyard are placed so wisely that you cannot feel relaxed and interested. Then the artworks are so different from the... More 

Thank Gabriele C
Level Contributor
102 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2016

This large, very old Zen temple is probably the most peaceful and tranquil place I have ever been. I am not a Buddhist, but can see why they honor this practice, it makes you feel so at peace just to sit by the gardens. You can see one of the most famous paintings in Japan of the wind and thunder... More 

Thank travelingagain08
Level Contributor
33 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2016

At this temple, we got the best feel for how the place has worked as a setting for Zen Buddhist practice. Less flashy but more peaceful than others, we enjoyed a tea ceremony, visited the quiet rooms with art that I could appreciate, and walked around the gardens. The ceiling painting in the big temple is the star attraction, and... More 

Thank snowonder

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

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.