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Kennin-ji Temple

#24 of 1,109 things to do in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 584 Yamatooji Yojo-sagaru Komatsucho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0933, Kyoto Prefecture
Name/address in local language
Phone Number:
+81 75-561-0190
10:00 - 16:30
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 - 16:30
Book In Advance
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USD 89.00*
and up
Scholar-led Kyoto Walking Tour: Shintoism and Buddhism in Japan
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USD 81.09*
and up
Private Scholar-led Kyoto Walking Tour: Shintoism and Buddhism in Japan
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USD 41.31*
and up
Kyoto Rickshaw Tour

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 628 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 114
  • 43
    Very good
  • 5
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Tranquility in a Building

Just loved this place it was a cloudy rainy day but once you stepped into the temple you just relaxed took about 1 hour to wander around only 500 yen great stone gardens and the... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Melbourne, Australia
via mobile
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628 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 162: English reviews
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Just loved this place it was a cloudy rainy day but once you stepped into the temple you just relaxed took about 1 hour to wander around only 500 yen great stone gardens and the dragon paintings wow only down side not many English signs but who cares

Thank Abear88
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
121 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Fun well kept temple with great dragon ceiling painting. It isn't a big name temple that people flock to, which we really enjoyed as it was easy to walk around and not so crowded. We really enjoyed this temple and would recommend a visit. Make sure you wear socks as you need to leave your shoes at the front and... More 

Thank schef27
Level Contributor
124 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Kennin-Ji was a great change of pace from the other temples we saw in Japan. This is a Zen Buddhist temple (think: Zen gardens, empty spaces, minimalist design) so very different from the other Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines we saw throughout Japan. It has a really beautiful zen garden and the inside of the temple, while minimalist, is also... More 

1 Thank justinballetta
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
63 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2017

We went to visit Kennin-ji around 9am one morning and surprisingly discovered that unlike other shrines/temples it didn't open till 10! We went on about our day and decided if we could get back to it in the afternoon we would. Thankfully we did! It was a really lovely Zen temple complex. The gardens were just beautiful. There were many... More 

Thank ambJax
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
353 reviews
168 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2017

We visited here without planning to. It's located very close to the end of the Gion street so we walked around the outside admiring the architecture. There is a cost to enter which we didn't do. Seemed to be quite quiet with few tourists.

Thank JLandMike
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2017

I believe this is not a massive tourist attraction in Kyoto, there are many other major temples to explore, but this is a peaceful and very beautiful place to visit after walking through Hanamijoji and the small alley in Gion área. You can spend some time just relaxing in the peaceful atmosfere and staring at the wonderful gardens.

Thank Nuria F
Youghal, Ireland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 11 April 2017

The Kennin-ji temple and gardens is wonderful place to visit during the cherry blossom season. The spattering of pink blooms blend in beautifully with the greenery. The temple thatch was being renovated during this visit, but did not spoil the overall visit. The Cho-on Tei (garden of the sound of wind) is very quaint and despite the crowds of people,... More 

Thank ps151061
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviewed 7 April 2017 via mobile

Can't understand how I have missed this before. Beautiful temple with stunning paintings apart from the glorious one of dragons on the ceiling. Lovely garden, too. At the end of Gion so easy to drop in.

Thank andyDubs
Berkeley, Ca
Level Contributor
60 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2017

This temple in the midst of the Gion is wonderfully under-visited. It has some wonderful art--including stunning dragons painted on a temple ceiling, as well as paintings of the gods of thunder and wind. The gardens are extremely relaxing and help one to ease out of the chaos of tourist-swamped Gion or any of the dozen or so more popular... More 

Thank berkeleyscubapro
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
220 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2017 via mobile

When I visited Kennin-ji, it was closed, but the atmosphere was very quiet and peaceful. It was beautiful. Kyoto is a very touristy city, and it helps to get out of all the noise. Escaping to Kennin-ji would be the perfect thing to do, especially afterward, you could go to Kiyomizu-dera, or maybe get some good coffee at %.

1 Thank Abzollo

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Staying in Gion

Neighbourhood Profile
Gion is Kyoto's famed Geisha District (called "Geiko" in Kyoto). Though Gion's many tea houses and entertainment restaurants are closed to foreigners, Geiko and Maiko in their traditional makeup with gilded hair in full kimono can be seen drifting the streets on their way to and from work, where they fan dance, sing, and play instruments for customers. Gion lights up at night, when the ancient-looking streets glow with lanterns along the river, where weeping willows catch the starlight and the air is warmed with conversation. Groups pass through to populate the restaurants and bars along the riverfront, but Gion still manages to be a mostly quiet district, due in large part to limited automotive traffic through many of its streets. Gion is a wonderful place to indulge in Kyoto's local and customary cuisines, and is best enjoyed after dark.
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