Search over 1 million properties and 550 airlines worldwide.
Free cancellation on most hotels. Because flexibility matters.
As part of the Kyoto Gozan (the leading temple of Zen Buddhism), Kenninji is one of the oldest and most important Zen temples in the city. The temple and its buildings stand tall and proud as the head of 70 other shrines throughout the country. Tourists come here to see the traditional artwork and the pretty Zen gardens.
Enter the Hattou building, which is used as a main hall. It shows off a classical pent roof, and statues of deities and legendary Japanese priests. Browse the pieces of art in the temple, such as the screen-door paintings of the wind and thunder gods. Marvel at the Twin Dragons work, which marked the 800-year anniversary of the temple in 2002.
Amble through the Chouontei Garden to enjoy its calm atmosphere and mossy setting. Meditate among maple trees at the San-zon-seki, a set of spiritual rocks that represent important Zen Buddhism themes. View the Circle Triangle Square Garden by the priest’s living quarters; it symbolizes all matter in the universe. Head to the teahouse, which was built in 1587.
The temple is part of the Rinzai tradition of Zen and was founded in 1202. It claims to be the oldest of its kind in the city. The monk credited with bringing Zen to the country is buried here. Over the centuries, the shrine has been ravaged by fire. As a result, it has been rebuilt several times.
The site is open in the afternoons, and there is an admission fee. It is situated just south of the Gion area, surrounded by the avenues of Shijō and Gojo. Take a train to Gion-Shijō Station, which is just a few minutes from the temple on foot. The station is in the Higashiyama ward, in the northeast of the city, and it can be reached via the Keihan Main Line.
Like to make your stop at Kenninji Temple even more memorable? Don't miss the chance to try one or two of these things to do:
Want to experience this famous attraction in the best possible way? Then you can't go past a Scholar-Led Shintoism & Buddhism Walking Tour.
If you'd like even more activities, peruse our Kyoto things to do page.
Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto International Manga Museum and Nishiki Market. Kawaramachi and Nijō Castle are also within 15 minutes. Karasuma Oike Station is only a 2-minute walk and Karasuma Station is 9 minutes.
Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Rokakkudo Temple and Nishiki Market. Kyoto International Manga Museum and Shijo Omiya are also within 10 minutes. Karasuma Oike Station is only a 4-minute walk and Karasuma Station is 6 minutes.
Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Kyoto Railway Museum and Nishiki Market are also within 2 mi (3 km). Kyoto Station is 9 minutes by foot and Toji Station is 12 minutes.
Located in Gion, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Gion Corner, Kiyomizu Temple and Heian Shrine. Sanjusangendo Temple and Kyoto Tower are also within 3 mi (5 km). Gion-shijo Station is only a 5-minute walk and Kawaramachi Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Kyoto Tower, Toji Temple and Sanjusangendo Temple. Nijō Castle and Gion Corner are also within 2 mi (3 km). Gojo Station is 8 minutes by foot and Tanbaguchi Station is 16 minutes.
Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kawaramachi and Nishiki Market. Pontocho and Kyoto MINAMIZA Theatre are also within 15 minutes. Kiyomizu-gojo Station is 9 minutes by foot and Shijo Station is 9 minutes.
Located in Higashiyama, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hokanji Temple and Kodaiji Temple. Kiyomizu Temple and Gion Corner are also within 15 minutes. Higashiyama Station is 19 minutes by foot and Gion-shijo Station is 16 minutes.
Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Kyoto TERRSA, Kyoto Tower and Higashi Honganji Temple. Sanjusangendo Temple and Toji Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). Kujo Station is 9 minutes by foot and Tofukuji Station is 13 minutes.