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“The epitome of a Zen Rock Garden”
Review of Ryoanji Temple

Ryoanji Temple
Book In Advance
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USD 90.00*
and up
Expert-Led Japanese Gardens Tour
Ranked #65 of 1,394 things to do in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Raked white gravel , to symbolize the movement of water. Carefully selected rocks, precisely placed to represent the land.
Serene, even with lots of tourists. Unlike other sites here everyone seems to know to be quite and respect the environment they are in.
The temple also has a nice garden. You can visit this temple after the Golden Temple. Just take the 59 bus. The distance between the 2 is deceptive on the map. Get an all day bus pass. It also works on the subway. One day of unlimited rides is 900 yen. A 2 day pass is 1700 yen. Each one way payas you go is 230 yen. So do the math and select the option that works we LL for you.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank Monica B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"rock garden"
in 383 reviews
"zen garden"
in 209 reviews
"famous rock"
in 52 reviews
"white gravel"
in 24 reviews
"raked gravel"
in 18 reviews
"dry garden"
in 13 reviews
"the main attraction"
in 25 reviews
"golden pavilion"
in 43 reviews
"peaceful place"
in 15 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 39 reviews
"surrounding gardens"
in 11 reviews
"walk around"
in 12 reviews
"cherry blossoms"
in 15 reviews
"rocks"
in 236 reviews
"pond"
in 98 reviews
"simplicity"
in 49 reviews
"temple"
in 421 reviews
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Reviewed 5 April 2018

Ryoanji is a little out of town on the west side of Kyoto, and you can combine a visit here with one to Kinkakuji. Both places can get busy, so go early and decide which to visit first, without the crowds. It's about a 20 minute walk between them.

The rock garden is justly famous, and well worth a visit, to sit and contemplate the subtle and sublime forms. The rest of the temple is also beautiful and serene, and there is a lovely lake.

Date of experience: July 2017
Thank Dave_Cowley_Road
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

This zen temple is said to be the most famous Hiraniwa ( garden without hills or ponds, so called dry landscape garden) in Japan. The stone garden is a listed as one of the historic monuments of ancient Kyoto, there are 15 stones in it surrounded by white gravel which is meticulously raked each day. There are 15 stones but it is not possible to see all of them at the same time. Legend says only an enlightened person would be able to see all 15 .As in all temples, the visitor is requested to remove ones shoes, in the cooler months of the year it is wise to have a pair of thicker socks one can put on to save one's feet from turning into stone too.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank Hitchcock2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2018 via mobile

I went after the disappointment of the Golden Pavilion. This place is also kinda small, and there's a lot of people, but perhaps not as crowded. The rock garden is its standout, and the zen garden is nice, but there are better ones. If you've seen pictures of the rock garden and think it looks tempting to see in real life, then sure, go for it. I did like it, and felt very spiritual and zen and all that.

Date of experience: March 2018
1  Thank Anders L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 March 2018

We came here right after visiting Kinkakuji with no expectations. So, we were pleasantly surprised by this temple and its gardens that we spent a lot longer than expected. Besides the famous Zen gardens, there are numerous path with lots of trees, plants and shrubs. It's truly relaxing place and one tat doesn't attract hordes of tourists.
My wife found this place inspiring, and said she could spend a whole day here just sitting in a place and drawing. Next time we visit, we'll definitely spend more time here.

Date of experience: February 2018
Thank Thanneer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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