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The oldest Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, this temple created the foundation of all Japanese Zen temples. It has famous Japanese artworks starting with “Fujin-Raijin-zu,” a national treasure painted by Tawaraya Soutatsu, “Soryu-zu” painted on the large ceiling and “Unryu-zu” on the wall. There are also many precious cultural assets to see including Chokushi-mon (gate), an important cultural property and Hojo. The layout of the temple includes buildings, towers and four Japanese gardens. You can also try Zazen, seated meditation training of Buddhism, which takes place once a month.
- 4-584 Komatsu-cho, Shijo-Kudaru, Yamato Oji Dori, Higashiyam-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
- Contact No.
- 10-min walk from Gionshijo Station on Keihan Railway 11-min bus ride (No.206 Kyoto Municipal Bus) from JR Kyoto Station up to HIgashiyama-yasui Bus station followed by a 5-min walk. 30 min, 7 km from Kyoto Higashi Interchange on Meishin Kosoku highway via Route 1
- Opening Hours / Holidays
Closed: December 28 to 31
Opening hours and holidays may change depending on the season. Please check the official website in advance for details.
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 60 minutes
- Admission fee
- Admission fee 500 yen
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
National treasure “Fujin-Raijin-zu byobu”
Painted by the famous artist Tawaraya Soutatsu in the Edo period, this became a masterpiece in his later years. This is one of the reasons why Kennin-ji is famous. God of the wind on the right and God of the thunder on the left, and their lifelike figures are simply amazing and a must-see.
Spectacular painting on the ceiling “Soryu-zu”
The ink wash painting on the ceiling, “Soryu-zu,” took two years to finish and is equally outstanding. This was painted in 2002 to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the temple, and you will be overwhelmed by the spectacular image of the dragon. Don’t miss the dragon painting with the important cultural property wall painting “Unryu-zu.”
“Chou-on-tei,” a garden that can be enjoyed from four angles
On the grounds of Kennin-ji, there are four Japanese gardens: Hojo-teien, Daiou-en, Chouon-tei and The garden of ○△□. In Chou-on-tei, three stones are placed in the center with maple trees around the stones. This distinctive garden looks beautiful from any of the four angles of the surrounding buildings.