Ryoanji Temple

Nestled at the base of Kyoto’s Mount Kinugasa, Ryoan-ji Temple dates back to 983, though the temple was officially founded in 1467, and a number of the present buildings are reconstructions dating to 1800.

More importantly, Ryoan-ji is home to Japan’s first, and arguably best, kare-sansui (dry landscape) garden. The garden is a masterpiece of Zen art, consisting of white raked gravel and fifteen stones, of which only fourteen can be seen at any one time.

Although it can often be busy and crowded, the stone garden is not to be missed. We also recommend visiting the temple buildings, and strolling through the lush gardens that surround the large pond