Ryoanji Temple

Sightseeing Tours
Cultural Tours


Attracting hundreds of visitors every day, the Ryoanji Temple is one of the most famous rock temples in Kyoto. The Zen temple dates back to 1450 belonging to the Myoshinji School of Zen Buddhism.


A quaint but important temple in the history of Japan, the Ryoanji Temple dates back to 1450 and even though its history is uncertain, it was initially built as an aristocrat’s villa in the Heian Period which ran from 794 to 1185. The temple is surrounded by a garden of pebbles, surrounded by low walls with 15 stones laid out.

As per urban myth surrounding the garden’s design, from any vantage point atleast one of the stones is always hidden form the viewer. There are several myths about the meaning behind the garden, so it is often left to the visitor to derive whatever meaning he/she wants to derive when visiting the temple. The temple also features a park area with a pond with picturesque walking trails and restaurants that serve typical Japanese specialties like Tofu. The gate on the left of the temple is reserved exclusively for the emperor but was used only once by Queen Elizabeth during her visit in 1975.


8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Child allowed age
0 - 12 years

Good to know

  • Ryoanji Temple is easily accessible from Kyoto Station by JR Buses which takes about 30 minutes and costs 230 Yen
  • Visiting the temple just when it is opening or just before closing will give you the chance to explore it with the least amount of crowd around
  • The temple is a religious site so it is recommended that you dress appropriately and are respectful of the culture and the peace and calm of the temple


?? Ry?anji Gory?noshitach?, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-8001, Japan
ryoanji temple
temples in kyoto
zen temples in kyoto

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