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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
08:30 - 16:30
Open now
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Sun - Sat 08:30 - 16:30
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 1,667 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 356
  • 271
    Very good
  • 105
  • 33
  • 11
Nice Temple - good to visit in the fall

It is a rather nice temple to visit especially during the fall when maple trees turn colour. The rock garden I think means more to locals who understand the philosophy as it is no... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Ricky Y
Hong Kong, China
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1,667 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 776: English reviews
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
451 reviews
343 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 183 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

It is a rather nice temple to visit especially during the fall when maple trees turn colour. The rock garden I think means more to locals who understand the philosophy as it is no more than 15 rocks arranged on the surface of white pebbles. Zen is something people from other culture would not fully appreciate. I like the pond... More 

Thank Ricky Y
Level Contributor
257 reviews
174 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

For 500¥ you get to see exactly 5 stinking rocks arranged within a crushed loose-stone pavement. So what if it's old? It's tiny and crowded, with tons of people sitting and staring dumb at it, pretending to understand it's supposedly deep meaning. This place is the Kim Kardashian of gardens: famous for simply being famous, and selling philosophical emojis to... More 

Thank wvzjxq
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
404 reviews
250 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

This is a peaceful temple to visit. It's a great place to enjoy the Fall leaves. The rock temple in the middle is really peaceful to see.

Thank itsxjackie
Kyoto, Japan
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

The results were satisfactory to us all. 《The Rock Garden》 “This simple and remarkable garden measures only twenty-five meters from east and ten meters from south to north. The rectangular Zen garden is completely different from the gorgeous gardens of court nobles constructed in the Middle Ages.”                            〜from temple's leaflet You can feel something of Zen spirit !! And 《Kyoyochi... More 

Thank takeshi52
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Ryoanji may be not the most famous landmark in Kyoto, thus not too much crowded like Kingakuji or other places. The zen garden which is located at the center of the temple is an excellent place to calm you down. Absolutely to go when you are in Kyoto.

Thank Samuel S
Highland, New York
Level Contributor
33 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Very beautiful temple and gardens. The natural setting and landscaping was very lovely and it was not terribly crowded.

Thank Erica D
Hay-on-Wye, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Go early in the morning before the crowds, but even so, since you view from a one-sided gallery, you should be able to get a good view. This place is so exceptional, anyone interested in gardens just has to go.

Thank Noel K
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I did not find the famous rock garden appealing. No doubt this is my failing. But the lake is delightful, and I was interested in the memorial pagoda for the Japanese killed in Burma during WWII (my father fought on the other side).

Thank Alan A
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

All about Zen - classic and beautiful. Would love to stay in the peaceful location all day. Wander through the gardens and allow yourself to absorb the serenity and peace!

Thank jackie007968
Adelaide South Australia
Level Contributor
198 reviews
122 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The temple was originally a villa and was converted to a Zen temple in the mid fifteenth century. The grounds incorporate walking trails, a pond, restaurant and rock garden. The rectangular rock garden is covered with small stones and has groups of rocks laid out in what appears to be a random manner. However, these larger rocks are set so... More 

Thank Kayjohn

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San Francisco, California
15 days ago
San Francisco, California

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Staying in Northern Kyoto

Neighbourhood 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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