Ryōan-ji (Shinjitai: 竜安寺, Kyūjitai: 龍安寺, The Temple of the Dragon at Peace) is a Zen temple located in northwest Kyoto, Japan. It belongs to the Myōshin-ji school of the Rinzai branch of Zen Buddhism. The Ryōan-ji garden is considered one of the finest surviving examples of kare-sansui ("dry landscape"), a refined type of Japanese Zen temple garden design generally featuring distinctive larger rock formations arranged amidst a sweep of smooth pebbles (small, carefully selected polished river rocks) raked into linear patterns that facilitate meditation. The temple and its gardens are listed as one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The site of the temple was an estate of the Fujiwara clan in the 11th century. The first temple, the Daiju-in, and the still existing large pond were built in that century by Fujiwara Saneyoshi. In 1450, Hosokawa Katsumoto, another powerful warlord, acquired the land where the temple stood. He built his residence there, and founded a Zen temple, Ryōan-ji. During the Ōnin War between the clans, the temple was destroyed. Hosokawa Katsumoto died in 1473, and in 1488 his son, Hosokawa Masamoto, rebuilt the temple.
|Monday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Tuesday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Friday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Saturday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Sunday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
天羽亮 | Dec 3, 2017
One of the most famous rock gardens in the world. There are 15 stones, but one cannot see all 15 from any position in the temple. Just amazing! One can sit there for hours and enjoy the scenery. Outside, the gardens in autumn are amazing with a rainbow of colors to enjoy. The more time I spend here, the more I love it.
Abhishek Ghosh | Dec 16, 2017
I would say this is not for everyone. Highly recommended if you enjoy nature and peace. The zen Buddhist has created an orthogonal design of nature which appears more marvelous the longer you look at it. I would recommend to sit down at the stone garden and pondering over the structures. Again, not for everyone!
陳柏亨 | Jan 16, 2018
The best. The best. The best. It is very important so I said it three times. My most favorite place in Kyoto.
Harry Tang | Jan 9, 2018
A famous rock garden in Kyoto, best visit with Kinkaku ji. Take 59 for transportation between the two. 59 also goes back to downtown if needed. Peaceful garden and the rock garden itself was interesting.
Collin McDougall | Dec 3, 2017
Very lovely, small sitting meditation temple. Serene beauty. We went when it first opened to avoid the crowd and be able to enjoy the rocks, and the beauty of the place combined with the sunrise made it easy to be peacefully mindful.
Alex or Jean E. | Apr 11, 2018
(Translated by Google). On the pathway to zen Disneyland for comfortable place. Garden relaxed spirit sea of humanity crushes mind. Mu! Old ladies scream for shoes to rest off feet. Missing grandmother in moment. Foreigners pretend dazed by rocks with zazen moments. Noise and selfie stick everywhere sound of no hands clapping. Mu! Joshu is my copilot.
Kayla Axen | Apr 11, 2018
This place was one of the highlights of my shrine and temple crawl through Kyoto. Too many people which made it a bit difficult to fully enjoy and appreciate. The rock garden is so amazing that it's hard to put into words. The grounds were much less busy and were very peaceful to walk around in. Ryoan-ji has the most stunning goshuin
Daniel Stancombe | Mar 16, 2018
Fantastic place to visit. Stunning gardens all around not just the famous rock garden. We really enjoyed our visit
Omar Aziz | Mar 5, 2018
One of the more quiet temples with the very popular zen rock garden, as well as a park with a pond. ¥500 to enter; sit by the garden for a few minutes or meditate then walk around. A short visit, like most of the other sites but also often on top-10 sites to visit in Kyoto lists.
Sudhakaran Srinivasan | Apr 25, 2018
A simple yet remarkable rock garden, consisting only white sandai and different rocks, laid out at the end of 15th century, is acknowledged to be one of the masterpieces of Japanese culture. Its simple beauty will inspire philosophical meditation. It measures only 25 meter from east to west and 10 meter from south to north. This rectangular garden is completely different from the gorgeous gardens of court nobles. The best part is the longer you gaze at it, the more varied your imagination comes. The garden of worldwide fame is said to have been laid out by Soami, a painter and gardener.
Bradley Buehler | Jun 14, 2018
Quintessential Zen Garden. A must see if you visit Kyoto. Beautiful, serene... words do not describe this properly.
Anne Le-Sinq | Jun 8, 2018
Beautiful place not to be missed. Close to the Golden Pavilion so can be visited after. Very relaxing and peaceful. Entrance costs 500¥.
Tony Zhao | Jun 28, 2018
Loved it, don't forget to check out their gift shop as well. Found some lovely stone figurines
Paweł Zdanowski | Jun 8, 2018
Not worth visiting. You will get no “zen” feeling as place is crowded with tourists and school groups. You can only watch the garden from one place.
Khaled D. | Jul 28, 2018
This place is good for people who seeks meditation. The main area is a “no speak area”. I visited Ryōan-ji on Mid December, the place is not crowded around 9am - noon.
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