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Ryoanji Temple

A Zen temple is listed as a world heritage site famous for its dry landscape garden "Stone Garden '' of 15 stones. The strolling garden, which retains the remnants of the Heian period, is a spectacular sight known as a famous spot for autumn leaves.

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A Zen Buddhist temple of the Rinzai sect Myoshinji school registered as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site as one of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.”
During the Muromachi period in 1450 (Hotoku 2), a man in charge of the shogunate, Katsumoto Hosokawa, took over the mountain villa of the Tokudaiji family and built the temple with Giten Gensho Zen Master, the fifth ancestor of Myoshinji Temple. It was later burnt down during the Onin War, but was rebuilt by the priest Tokuho Zenketsu of Myoshinji Temple under Katusmoto’s child, Matsumoto. It is said that the abbot’s chamber and stone garden were also built during this time.

A famous stone garden, the Hojo Garden (historic site / special area for scenic beauty), is a dry landscape garden surrounded by the Tsukiji wall on three sides. It was praised by Elizabeth II, who stopped by Ryoanji Temple on an official visit in 1975, and became a famous garden widely known both by locals and by people abroad as supreme abstract modeling. The stones are arranged in the pattern of 5, 2, 3, 2, and 3 from the east, a total of 15, and are also called "Shichigosan no Niwa" or "Torako Watari no Niwa". However, it is built in a mysterious structure where all 15 stones cannot be seen at once from any angle. Although it is said that it was made by Soami, the details of the creator and the age of the garden are unknown. It’s mystery may be one of the factors that attract many people.

The strolling garden centered around Kyoyo Pond occupies the southern half of the precincts, and is also a big highlight. The garden-style of the Heian period, when aristocrats enjoyed boating, still remains. During the Edo period, it was known as a famous spot for mandarin ducks, and was even more famous than the stone garden. You can enjoy the mystical scenery during all four seasons, however, the autumn leaves are exceptionally beautiful and are visited by many worshipers every year.


  • The famous garden, the stone garden, which became world-famous after being praised by Queen Elizabeth II.
  • The mystery of the stone garden where all the stones cannot be seen at once at any angle.
  • A strolling garden that was once even more famous than the stone garden.


  • The worldly famous garden, “stone garden” (Hojo Garden)

    The worldly famous garden, “stone garden” (Hojo Garden)


  • Tina Lai


  • 柯南


  • Chi Yun214


  • David Lin


  • 陳世明



Name in Japanese
Postal Code
13 Ryoanji Goryonoshitacho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Open every day
8:00am-5:00pm (December to February: 8:30am-4:30pm)
500 yen
1) Take the Keifuku Electric Railway (Randen) Kitan Line to Ryoanji Station, then walk for 7 minutes.
2) Take the No. 50 Kyoto City Bus from JR Kyoto Station and get off at Ritsumeikan Daigaku-mae bus stop, then walk 7 minutes.
3) Take the No. 55 Kyoto City Bus from Hankyu Kyoto Line Omiya Station and get off at Ritsumeikan Daigaku-mae bus stop, then walk 7 minutes.
4) Take the No. 59 Kyoto City Bus from Keihan Main Line Sanjo Station and get off at Ryuanji-mae bus stop, very close by foot.
Credit Cards
Not accepted
Official Website
Official Website (English)