Ryoanji temple in Kyoto, Japan during autumn

Ryoanji Temple | Kyoto Travel Guide

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Ryoanji literally means ‘Temple of the Calm and Peaceful Dragon’. The temple in Kyoto is a Zen temple located nearby the Golden Pavillion. It was built by Hosokawa Katsumoto, a minister of the Ashikaga Shogunate in 1450. It is part of the ancient Kyoto Historical Monument complex, which was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The temple was created by the Myoshinji school of the Rinzai sect, belonging to Zen Buddhism, and it is especially famous for its stone landscape garden.

Ryoanji Temple Kyoto

Karesansui (Dry Landscape Garden)

Inside this temple, you can find one of the most famous karesansui (dry landscape garden) in the world, and it was built at the end of the 15th century. The creator of this garden did not leave any explanation about its meaning, so for centuries, it has been a mystery to discover the true meaning behind its great beauty.

It is a rectangular garden built in front of the main building. It is composed of raked sand, moss, and rocks. There is a predominance of elongated shapes placed parallel to the position of the building. The three remaining sides are closed by walls which allow the view of the garden to be limited in a longitudinal frame.

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Ryoanji Access Information

From Ryoanji-Mae or Ritsumeikan-Daigaku-Mae bus stop

Entrance fee: Adult 500 yen, Elementary and Junior high school student 300 yen

March to November: from 8:00 to 17:00
December to February: from 8:30 to 16:30

Ryoanji Area Map

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