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Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto

3.8
#10 of 347 in Historic Sites in Kyoto
With a history spanning over five centuries, Ryoanji Temple boasts probably the nation's most iconic rock garden. Founded in 1450, the temple stands atop an even older aristocrat's residence. The garden notably features 15 rocks of varying sizes and shapes spread out across the surface, each surrounded by a small patch of moss. Think about the mysterious symbolism of the garden, which features a design that obscures at least one rock from view from all angles. Afterwards, wander the extensive temple grounds, which boast a number of walking trails, shrines, flowering trees, and a pond. Wrap up you visit with a quick meal at the onsite cafe. Take a look at our Kyoto trip generator to schedule your visit to Ryoanji Temple and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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2,010 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • August 17, 2017
    Considered a minor destination, is an oasis of peace and greenery that is worth a visit, just a few bus stops from the Golden Pavilion. Meditative zen garden of stones, to contemplate the landscape of the Park.
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  • August 17, 2017
    A big Park nice to stroll around the Lake covered with water lilies but it must be shoes, sit on the veranda of the main building and get lost in meditation of the fabulous dry garden and its 14 rocks planted on a bit of foam in the gravel... You'll forget all others!
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  • August 17, 2017
    Spectacular gardens with a beautiful temple, you can stroll streets through a forest with trees and plants very well distributed and care
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Where to stay in Kyoto

Kyoto spoils visitors for choice when it comes to good accommodations, offering everything from traditional ryokans to luxury Western-style hotels. In a city used to receiving foreign travelers, you'll find that most establishments know exactly what to offer tourists and how to help newcomers to the area. To avoid paying premium prices during the cherry blossom season, consider staying in Osaka, located just a 30-minute train ride away. If you must stay in Kyoto itself, keep in mind that centrally located hotels charge more than those in the outer neighborhoods.
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