The oldest and one of the most important Zen temples in Kyoto, Kennin-ji was founded in the year 1202 by a monk. Situated near the famous Geisha district of Gion, Kennin-ji attracts Buddhist monks on pilgrimage, as well as religious locals and tourists, and curious explorers.
The main hall is a bastion of solemnity. The architecture features rooftops that curve upwards toward the sky, as if in prayer. The original temple complex contained seven buildings, but fires throughout the centuries destroyed many. The temple was rebuilt in the mid-thirteenth century and again in the sixteenth century. Today three outstanding buildings remain: the Dharma Hall, the principal building; a tea house; and the Imperial Messenger Gate. Interestingly, the gate dates back to the 12th or 13th centuries, and today marks from stray arrows during battles can still be seen.
Kennin-ji boasts a stunning Zen garden. Like most Zen gardens, Kennin-ji's is defined by its simplicity and beauty. An aesthetically pleasing placement of rocks, trees, and grassy areas create a calming, peaceful atmosphere for strolling or simply sitting and thinking.
Kennin-ji Temple Tours
Yukata (Kimono) plan 2,500 yen You can walk around Kyoto's sightseeing spots and townscapes for a day
What are Kennin-ji Temple hours of operation?
Should I book Kennin-ji Temple tickets in advance?
How much does it cost to visit Kennin-ji Temple 2021?
What's the best way to experience Kennin-ji Temple?
- Secret Eastern Kyoto Biking Adventure
- Kyoto Cycling Tour with E-bike
- Kyoto One Day Tour with a Local: 100% Personalized & Private
- Kyoto Stunning Japanese Gardens Tour
Things to do near Kyoto
- Things to do in Kansai Prefecture
- Things to do in Osaka
- Things to do in Izumisano
- Things to do in Nagano
- Things to do in Kamakura
- Things to do in Kawagoe
- Things to do in Tokyo
- Things to do in Musashino
- Things to do in Chiba
- Things to do in Busan
- Things to do in Seoul
- Things to do in Incheon
- Things to do in Osaka Prefecture
- Things to do in Nagano Prefecture
- Things to do in Kanagawa Prefecture