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Ryoanji Temple

Features such as one of the most famous rock gardens in the country and a placid pond with charming islands distinguish this temple from others in the city.

The Ryoanji Temple is famous throughout the country for its rock garden. Tourists make their way to the site to marvel at its simplistic design and clever features. It is also distinct from many other temples because of its large pond with little islands in the middle. There is a restaurant that serves a Japanese specialty. Artwork on sliding doors fills the rooms of the main hall.

Enjoy one of the best rock gardens in Japan. The area is rectangular and contains 15 large rocks lying on mossy beds. A curious facet is that due to its layout at least one rock will always be hidden from view no matter where you stand. There are many disputed meanings behind the garden.

Appreciate the typical Japanese paintings on sliding doors in some of the rooms of the Hojo, the priest’s former residence. Behind the building are charming gardens. Head to the large pond in the expansive park area. Cross the bridge to an island with a shrine. Walk in the midst of peaceful nature along the complex’s trails. Try Koyoto’s specialty, yodufu (boiled tofu), at its restaurant. Enjoy the view of the gardens while you eat.

In the 11th century, the Fujiwara family lived in the complex. It was converted into a Zen Buddhism temple in 1450. It remains open to the public year-round in the daytime. There are fewer crowds earlier on, and there is an admission fee.

The Ryoanji Temple is in the north of the city. Take the JR bus directly from Kyoto Station in the city center. Kinkaku-ji is 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) away. You can also take a bus to the temple from there. The Ryoan-ji-michi station is a few minutes from the complex on foot. It is accessible via the Keifuku Kitano Line.


Guide to Exploring around Ryōan-ji


Lodging Near Ryōan-ji

See all 3,069 properties near Ryōan-ji
Guest House Kyorakuya Kinkakuji

Guest House Kyorakuya Kinkakuji

    3.0 out of 5.0
     
     

    Located in Kita Ward, this guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kitano Tenmangū and Kinkaku-ji. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Kawaramachi are also within 3 miles ...

    Guest House Kyorakuya KinkakujiAU$161

    reserved Comfortable oneperson travel twoperso / Kyoto Kyoto

    reserved Comfortable oneperson travel twoperso / Kyoto Kyoto

    Kita-ku Hirano Miyanishicho 64-7, kyowara Tenjin, Kyoto, Kyoto (prefecture)
       
       

      Located in Kita Ward, this holiday home is within a 15-minute walk of Kitano Tenmangū and Kinkaku-ji. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Kawaramachi are also within 3 ...

      reserved Comfortable oneperson travel twoperso / Kyoto KyotoAU$158

      Kyoyado Yaezakura

      Kyoyado Yaezakura

        3.0 out of 5.0
         
         

        Located in Kita Ward, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kitano Tenmangū and Kinkaku-ji. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Kawaramachi are also within 3 miles ...

        Kyoyado YaezakuraAU$170

        LeBlanc Pension Utano

        LeBlanc Pension Utano

        110-5 narutakihonmachi, Ukyo ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
          2.5 out of 5.0
           
           

          Located in Ukyo Ward, this hotel is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Ryōan-ji and 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Kinkaku-ji. Nijō Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace are also within 6 ...

          JAPANING HOTEL Kitanohakubaicho

          JAPANING HOTEL Kitanohakubaicho

            3.0 out of 5.0
             
             

            Located in Kita Ward, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kitano Tenmangū, Ryōan-ji and Kinkaku-ji. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Nijō Castle are also ...

            Guesthouse Sakura Komachi - Hostel

            Guesthouse Sakura Komachi - Hostel

            10-2, Kaidocho, Kinugasa, Kyoto, Kyoto
              2.0 out of 5.0
               
               

              Located in Kita Ward, this hostel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kinkaku-ji and Ryōan-ji. Genkoan and Kyoto Imperial Palace are also within 3 mi (5 km). Kitano-Hakubaicho ...

              Guesthouse Sakura Komachi - HostelAU$74

              Kitano Tenmangu

              Kitano Tenmangu

                3.0 out of 5.0
                 
                 

                Located in Nishijin, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kitano Tenmangū and Kinkaku-ji. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Kawaramachi are also within 3 miles ...

                Guesthouse ILOHA

                Guesthouse ILOHA

                  3.0 out of 5.0
                   
                   

                  Located in Kita Ward, this holiday home is within a 15-minute walk of Kitano Tenmangū and Kinkaku-ji. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Kawaramachi are also within 3 ...

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