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“my favourite temple in Kyoto”

Eikando Zenrinji Temple
Ranked #7 of 1,113 things to do in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
50 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“my favourite temple in Kyoto”
Reviewed June 12, 2012

There is nothing grandiose here, but I can detect a strange charm lingering in the small gardens. It is my my favorite also because it's not touristy, it's right by the forest of Higashiama, so manicured gardens and forest blend together beautifully. It is facing west, so it's better to visit it at sunset. It is still an active temple : around 16h the priest goes to the main hall for the service. You can watch or just listen to the chants. The main building are connected through an elevated bridge - so you feel like walking between trees. The temple has three small gardens. One has a pond and an elaborate landscape around it. A dry garden ofers the viewer an oval-shaped gravel sculpture, which I find very balanced, in good contrast with the nearby pines. As you turn around the front hall, another small garden blends stone, gravel, moss and water. A serene atmosphere, relaxed staff and free green tea. Definitely a good vibe, perfect for relaxation. You are very close to the Phylosopher's path there. I enjoyed it much more than Nanzen-ji.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank arciboldi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,203 reviews from our community

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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
445 reviews
150 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 227 helpful votes
“Please don't go, keep this wonderful place a secret!”
Reviewed May 29, 2012

I loved this temple. There was a ceremony going-on when we visited; it was a magical moment. Eikan-do is beautiful, it is free of tourists - compared to nearby Ginkaku-ji and the Golden Temple. The gardens are memorable, the vista from the topmost point of the temple grounds is great. This is the one you will want to return to.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank William B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Most beautiful fall colors”
Reviewed March 31, 2012

The pinks the yellows were great as was the foamy green tea we had under beautiful red umbrellas at the exit. Long stockinged feet walk, be prepared with cushy socks.

Visited November 2011
Thank Bkblake513
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“One for the must see list.”
Reviewed January 5, 2012

A stunner! We were getting a bit templed out and then decided on just one more; so glad we did.
We preferred this side of Kyoto and felt it was less crowded with tourists. Probably the lack of coach parking helps...

Visited December 2011
2 Thank LittleBlackClio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Light-Up was nice but over-rated”
Reviewed December 2, 2011

I liked the atmosphere at the night illumination but I thought the koyo at Eikando was not as impressive as other places like Nanzenji, Tofukuji and Daigo-ji. Best to reach there early. I was there at least half an hour early and there was already a crowd of about 200 people in the queue!

Visited November 2011
Thank Zipometer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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