Ryoan-ji Zen Temple (Kyoto) Show mapShow gallery

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  • Ryoan-ji Zen Temple Rock Garden

  • Ryoan-ji Zen Temple Rock Garden

  • Ryoan-ji Zen Temple Rock Garden

  • Ryoan-ji Rock Garden In Kyoto

  • Ryoan-ji Rock Garden In Kyoto

  • Kuri Building Ryoan-ji In Kyoto

  • Inside Kuri Building Ryoan-ji

  • Kuri Building With Shop At Ryoan-ji

  • Ryoan-ji Map In Kyoto

  • Kyoyochi Pond (Oshidori ike) Ryoan-ji

  • Kyoyochi (Oshidori ike) Pond Ryoan-ji

  • Kyoyochi (Oshidori ike) Pond Ryoan-ji

  • Kyoyochi (Oshidori ike) Pond Boat At Ryoan-ji

  • Hojo Building With Fusuma At Ryoan-ji

  • Hojo Building With Fusuma At Ryoan-ji

  • Chisoku No Tsukubai At Ryoan-ji

  • Ossuary At Ryoan-ji

  • Pagoda At Ryoan-ji In Kyoto

  • Chokushimon Gate Ryoan-ji In Kyoto

  • Ryoanji Temple Stairs

  • Ryoanji Garden Cherry Blossom In Kyoto

  • Ryoanji Garden Cherry Blossom In Kyoto

  • Ryoanji Garden Cherry Blossom In Kyoto

  • Ryoanji Moss Garden In Kyoto

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Facts & Figures

The Ryoan-ji (Peaceful Dragon Temple) in Kyoto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and belongs to the most famous Zen Temples in Japan. The reason for this status is its rock garden with 15 stones called Sekitei. Thousands of visitors every month appreciating the unique beauty of this kare-sansui (dry landscape garden). The garden size itself is only 25m x 10m. The real meaning of the garden is not completely clear, but this gives room for everyone's own theory. Ryoan-ji is part of Myoshin-ji school of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism.

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  • Ryoan-ji:
  • Opening Hours - 8:00 am to 5:00 pm – March to November
  • Opening Hours - 8:30 am to 4:30 pm – December to February
  • Admission Fee - 500 yen (Adults), 300 yen (Students)


The Ryoan-ji Zen Temple was originally a villa of the Tokudaiji family during the Heian Period. In 1450 Hosokawa Katsumoto, a feudal lord, established the temple. During the Onin civil war the temple was burned down, but in 1499 completely reconstructed. In 1994 the Ryoan-ji Zen Temple was declared a World Heritage Site.

Location Show map

The UNESCO World Heritage Site Ryoan-ji is located in the northwest part of Kyoto near Ninnaji.
Address: 13 Ryoanji Goryonoshitacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-8001

How to get to Ryoan-ji?

  • 30min from Kyoto Station to the temple by JR bus

Sightseeing spots


Ryoan-ji Zen rock garden - This dry landscape garden is the most famous in Japan.

Kyoyochi Pond - It is one of the best cherry blossom areas in Kyoto. The history of the pond is dating back till the 12th century.

Hojo - The former residence of the head priest is known for the beautiful paintings (fusuma) at the sliding doors and the great meditation hall.

Teahouse and Tea garden - Built during the 17th century and a great example of the Japanese architecture style during that period.

Chisoku No Tsukubai - This famous stone water basin was used for the purification ceremony.

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)


Hanamatsuri (8th)
The "flower festival" is a celebration of Buddha's birthday.


Aoi Matsuri (15th)
The highlight of this festival is a large parade from Imperial Palace through Shimogamo Shrine to the Kamo Shrines. More than 500 people wearing aristocratic costumes from the Heian Period (794 - 1185). The Aoi Matsuri belongs with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri to the three most famous festivals in Kyoto.

Arashiyama Mifune Matsuri (third Sunday of May)
The first part is held at the Kuramazaki Shrine. Later a procession is leading to the Oi River, where more ceremonies and traditional dances (Funa Asobi) are held. The Arashiyama Mifune Matsuri started in 1914.


Gion Matsuri (whole month)
The month July is full of different events like the Yoiyama - Kyoto's Magical Night (locals in kimonos look at the giant Gion floats the day before the parade) or the famous Yamaboko Junko (float procession on the 17th of July).


Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of Ages") (22nd)
People celebrate with a large parade between Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. App. 2000 participants wearing historical costumes from different time periods. Enjoy this great festival which last around 2 hours.

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