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This is a famous Zen temple with a rock garden with “kare-sansui” or a dry garden, one of the major Japanese type of gardens that represents a water landscape by using only rocks and sand. The garden made up of white sand and 15 rocks is said to bring about a zen state of mind. The pond named Kyoyochi is surrounded by flowering plants of the four seasons including cherry blossoms in spring and lotuses in June to August, which are outstanding. This pond and garden are designated as a national historical site and place of special scenic beauty. There is also a tsukubai, a stone wash basin embodying the essence of Buddhism and Wabisuke Tsubaki, the oldest camellia in Japan that won high praise from Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
- 13 Ryoanji Goryonoshitacho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
- Contact No.
- 8-min walk from Ryoanji Station on Randen; 35-min bus ride (No.59 Kyoto Municipal Bus) from Kawaramachi Station on Hankyu Railway followed by a minute's walk from Ryoanji Bus Stop; 45 min by car, 14 km from Kyoto Higashi Interchange on Meishin Kousoku Highway
- Opening Hours / Holidays
Open all year round
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 30 minutes
- 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.
This garden is 25 meters wide and 10 meters deep covered with white sand and 15 rocks of different sizes that are placed in a numerical sequence of 5, 2, 3, 2, 3 in order from the east side. It is said that this garden has the ultimate beauty of Zen. Fifteen rocks are placed in such a way that from any point of view, one rock is always hidden.
A beautiful pond with a surface like a mirror that reflects the surrounding landscape. It is said this pond was more famous than the rock garden once upon a time. In the past, there were many oshidori, mandarin ducks, and hence, it was called Oshidori pond. Especially the cherry blossoms in spring and lotuses in early summer are famous, but you can enjoy different flowers in each of the four seasons.
Tsukubai is a stone wash basin to purify hands before entering the tea room. The square-shaped hole in the center is the same shape as the Chinese character 口, kuchi, and the surrounding characters of 吾, 唯, 足, 知, when combined together can be read as “Ware Tada Taru wo Shiru," which means “I am content with what I am.” This is what Gautama Buddha said, a proverb that encompasses the quintessence of Buddhism and Zen.