“Captivating rock garden at Ryoanji temple”

Ryoanji Temple, located in Kyoto, is home to Japan's most famous rock garden. Originally built as a villa for aristocrats during the Heian Period, it was later converted into a Zen Buddhist temple in 1450. Belonging to the Myoshinji school of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism, Ryoanji Temple holds great historical and cultural significance.

The centerpiece of Ryoanji Temple is its enigmatic rock garden, which has captivated visitors for centuries. The garden consists of a rectangular area covered in carefully raked white gravel, surrounded by low earthen walls. Within this serene setting, fifteen rocks are strategically placed, arranged in small groups amidst patches of moss. The garden's design is characterized by its simplicity and minimalism, evoking a sense of tranquility and contemplation.

Beyond the rock garden, Ryoanji Temple offers a spacious park area with a picturesque pond. This pond dates back to the time when the site served as a noble's residence and features a charming shrine located on one of its three small islands. Visitors can cross a bridge to access the island and pay their respects at the shrine, adding a spiritual element to their experience.

Within the temple grounds, visitors can explore peaceful walking trails and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the surroundings. For those seeking culinary delights, the temple's restaurant specializes in Yudofu, a traditional Kyoto dish of boiled tofu. Guests can savor this delicacy in the restaurant's attractive tatami rooms while enjoying views of a traditional Japanese garden.

A visit to Ryoanji Temple is particularly enchanting in the early morning, when the crowds are smaller, allowing for a more intimate and reflective experience. Whether it is the enigmatic rock garden, the serene park, or the cultural and historical significance, Ryoanji Temple offers a captivating journey into the heart of Zen Buddhism and Japanese aesthetics.


Ryoanji Temple Hour and Admission 

  • Ryoanji Temple is open from 8 am to 17.00 pm March to November; 8.30 am to 16.30 pm December to February.
  • Admission is 500 yen.

How to get there

  • Ryoanji can be reached directly from Kyoto Station by JR bus. The bus ride takes about 30 minutes, costs 230 yen and is covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR Kansai Area Pass, JR Kansai Wide Area Pass, a few other rail passes by JR West, as well as by Kyoto's one-day bus pass. There are buses every 15-30 minutes. Alternatively, Ryoanji is a five minute bus ride or 20 minute walk west of Kinkakuji.
  • The temple can also be reached by the Keifuku Kitano Line, a small train that runs through the calm residential areas of northwestern Kyoto and offers a connection to Arashiyama. To access Ryoanji, get off at Ryoanji-michi Station from where it is a 5-10 minute walk to the temple.

Ryoanji Temple

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13 Ryoanji Goryonoshitacho,Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-8001 Map

List 0 review | art & culture,attractions,Temple,temple

Open now : 8.30 - 16.30

Mon8.30 - 16.30
Tue8.30 - 16.30
Wed8.30 - 16.30
Thu8.30 - 16.30
Fri8.30 - 16.30
Sat8.30 - 16.30
Sun8.30 - 16.30

75-463-2216

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