Kennin-ji (建仁寺) is a historic Zen Buddhist temple in Higashiyama, Kyoto, Japan, near Gion, at the end of Hanami Lane. It is considered to be one of the so-called Kyoto Gozan or "five most important Zen temples of Kyoto".
Great tasting food. Staff were welcoming and super friendly. One member of staff even gave me his umbrella because I didn't have one.
This place is best for those looking for quiet serenity. This temple looks like it probably did in the Edo period (~1600 - 1800) or even earlier. Visitors are generally respectful (quiet & careful) and the soundscapes of nature can still be heard as you sit and look at the manicured gardens. I came here regularly just to sit and meditate in my favorite spot, when I lived in Tokyo (3 hours away by bullet train). There's a modest entrance fee and you need to take your shoes off to walk around. If it's cold and you don't have warm socks, you may not enjoy that. This is an indoor / outdoor environment with walkways and viewing areas that are open to the outside. To walk along the garden paths you can borrow sandals provided by the temple.
I took part in the zazen meditation session held every second Sunday. It was an amazing experience, although some guidance for etiquette for foreigners would've been nice even in the form of a pamphlet or a poster. Regardless, very down to earth and tranquil. A wonderful experience and the art and gardens are well worth seeing!
What a beautiful place! Kyoto is a busy city but it fealt very peaceful here, the grounds are spacious so there is lots of room for everyone. Go and see it if you're near by!
My favorite temple of all those I’ve visited in Kyoto, one of the oldest Zen Buddhist temple built in 1202. Find out when they open to visitor to view the temple main hall and all the annex buildings. The highlight was the painted screen doors, the double dragon ceiling in the main hall and the zen garden.