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Kennin-ji Temple

#23 of 1,074 things to do in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 584 Yamatooji Yojo-sagaru Komatsucho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0933, Kyoto Prefecture
Name/address in local language
Phone Number:
+81 75-561-0190
10:00 - 16:30
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Sun - Sat 10:00 - 16:30
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 609 reviews
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Beautiful zen garden and a great change of pace

Kennin-Ji was a great change of pace from the other temples we saw in Japan. This is a Zen Buddhist temple (think: Zen gardens, empty spaces, minimalist design) so very different... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
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609 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 160: English reviews
Level Contributor
122 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Kennin-Ji was a great change of pace from the other temples we saw in Japan. This is a Zen Buddhist temple (think: Zen gardens, empty spaces, minimalist design) so very different from the other Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines we saw throughout Japan. It has a really beautiful zen garden and the inside of the temple, while minimalist, is also... More 

Thank justinballetta
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
63 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

We went to visit Kennin-ji around 9am one morning and surprisingly discovered that unlike other shrines/temples it didn't open till 10! We went on about our day and decided if we could get back to it in the afternoon we would. Thankfully we did! It was a really lovely Zen temple complex. The gardens were just beautiful. There were many... More 

Thank ambJax
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
353 reviews
168 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

We visited here without planning to. It's located very close to the end of the Gion street so we walked around the outside admiring the architecture. There is a cost to enter which we didn't do. Seemed to be quite quiet with few tourists.

Thank JLandMike
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

I believe this is not a massive tourist attraction in Kyoto, there are many other major temples to explore, but this is a peaceful and very beautiful place to visit after walking through Hanamijoji and the small alley in Gion área. You can spend some time just relaxing in the peaceful atmosfere and staring at the wonderful gardens.

Thank Nuria F
Youghal, Ireland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The Kennin-ji temple and gardens is wonderful place to visit during the cherry blossom season. The spattering of pink blooms blend in beautifully with the greenery. The temple thatch was being renovated during this visit, but did not spoil the overall visit. The Cho-on Tei (garden of the sound of wind) is very quaint and despite the crowds of people,... More 

Thank ps151061
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Can't understand how I have missed this before. Beautiful temple with stunning paintings apart from the glorious one of dragons on the ceiling. Lovely garden, too. At the end of Gion so easy to drop in.

Thank andyDubs
Berkeley, Ca
Level Contributor
60 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This temple in the midst of the Gion is wonderfully under-visited. It has some wonderful art--including stunning dragons painted on a temple ceiling, as well as paintings of the gods of thunder and wind. The gardens are extremely relaxing and help one to ease out of the chaos of tourist-swamped Gion or any of the dozen or so more popular... More 

Thank berkeleyscubapro
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
214 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

When I visited Kennin-ji, it was closed, but the atmosphere was very quiet and peaceful. It was beautiful. Kyoto is a very touristy city, and it helps to get out of all the noise. Escaping to Kennin-ji would be the perfect thing to do, especially afterward, you could go to Kiyomizu-dera, or maybe get some good coffee at %.

1 Thank Abzollo
Level Contributor
70 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2017

Accidentally found this place when we first arrived in Kyoto, just walking around on the far side of the Shijo bridge. There are lots of people in rental kimonos, not to be confused with the real geishas who sometimes appear in the area. It is solemn, and although right beside the rest of the city, it is unusually quiet. The... More 

Thank Mike M
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
346 reviews
135 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 483 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2017 via mobile

This was the first temple I visited in Kyoto just because it was close to the hotel. After seeing several, I think Kennin-ji belongs to the top three in Kyoto even though it does not reach the top ranks in many guidebooks / websites. The ink painting with dragons on the ceiling is exceptional. Also the gardens and further ink... More 

1 Thank Timo R

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Staying in Gion

Neighbourhood Profile
Gion is Kyoto's famed Geisha District (called "Geiko" in Kyoto). Though Gion's many tea houses and entertainment restaurants are closed to foreigners, Geiko and Maiko in their traditional makeup with gilded hair in full kimono can be seen drifting the streets on their way to and from work, where they fan dance, sing, and play instruments for customers. Gion lights up at night, when the ancient-looking streets glow with lanterns along the river, where weeping willows catch the starlight and the air is warmed with conversation. Groups pass through to populate the restaurants and bars along the riverfront, but Gion still manages to be a mostly quiet district, due in large part to limited automotive traffic through many of its streets. Gion is a wonderful place to indulge in Kyoto's local and customary cuisines, and is best enjoyed after dark.
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