Ryoanji Temple

Ryoanji Temple

Ryoanji, another of Kyoto’s 17 World Heritage Sites, is the home of Japan’s most famous garden. Founded in 1450, this Zen temple’s garden was constructed in the late 1400s, the whole complex a display of perfect harmony and elegant simplicity. The origin and meaning of the garden itself, a classic example of a gravel and rock dry garden, is a mystery, but is thought to be a zen riddle created by a master for his students. Fifteen boulders sit in the space, but from whatever angle you look at it, you can only see fourteen – if you can see all fifteen, you have reached the Zen state of completeness. This is one of Kyoto’s most fascinating sights.

Popular Tours Visiting Ryoanji Temple

holiday duration 13 Days from
holiday price 4,890pp

Traditional versus modern, nature versus urban – Japan is a land of contrasts. This exhilarating tour encompasses it all, delving deeper into Japan's rich past, present and future, covering robot restaurants to tranquil temples to potent saké and all that's in-between

holiday duration 13 Days from
holiday price 4,590pp

Japan is a country of captivating contrasts, where ancient gods rub shoulders with modern technology, skyscrapers give way to paddy fields and bustling crowds disperse into the classical gardens. This tour is the perfect introduction to this fascinating archipelago.

holiday duration 11 Days from
holiday price 4,190pp

Immerse yourself in the unique and fascinating culture of Japan. Encompassing the essentials with futuristic cities, imperial heritage and magnificent nature, this tour incorporates a number of experiences that give your holiday a truly authentic edge.

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Five Facts about Ryoanji Temple

Ryoanji means ‘The Temple of the Dragon at Peace’

The Zen garden of Ryoanji is simple made of gravel, sand and boulders

The temple and garden belong to the Myoshinji school of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism

Theories about what the garden represents includes islands in the sea, a tiger carrying her cubs across water or something more abstract, like infinity

The gravel of the garden is methodically raked daily – the action is said to facilitate meditation   

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