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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 457 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 81
  • 28
    Very good
  • 2
  • 0
  • 0
Fascinating and very peaceful

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... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
Bangkok, Thailand
via mobile
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457 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 111: English reviews
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
165 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW 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
339 reviews
143 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW 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 

Thank pepics
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

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 2 weeks ago

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
Berkeley, Ca
Level Contributor
46 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2016

Kennin-ji is not as popular as many in Kyoto but it is easily accessed from Gion; it has some wonderful zen paintings (Gods of Wind and Thunder is awesome); and its garden is a joy to mediate by. The separate building with the ceiling painting of two dragons is also a major appeal

Thank berkeleyscubapro
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2016

Wow. I'd never been in a real zen temple, in the country of origin, and was blown away by its beauty. Just sitting on the tatami mat floors or the wooden pathways was so peaceful. We went on a quiet day, and there were still a number of tourists, but that didn't detract. A wonderful experience.

1 Thank David B
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2016

It is a plaza that houses a few different spots together. They are many art pieces to view such as the famous twin dragons in the ceiling and also paintings on sliding doors. No shoes are allowed but at some point you can wear the provided slippers and explore the tea garden.

Thank MindyKoh
Pasadena,CA USA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2016

Great views of the enormous roofs of this Zen temple can be seen from various angles. Kenninji has an understated peacefulness as you stroll within the complex. I was fortunate to observe several monks going about their chores and they answered some of my questions without hesitation. The twin dragons on the ceiling of one of the temples was quite... More 

Thank BryanSoCal09
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2016

Really enjoyed exploring Kennin-ji, lots of photo opportunities and a relaxed but reverent atmosphere. Beautiful gravel garden and always something interesting to look at, I didn't get bored here at all like some other temples. A welcome find at the end of Hanamikoji!

Thank Annette M

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Typical questions asked:
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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.