Kyoto Travel Guide

Kyoto Sights

Ryoan-ji (Ryoan Temple)

  • 13 Goryoshita-cho Map It
  • Ukyo-ku
  • Garden/Arboretum
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 12/20/2010

Fodor's Review

The arrangement of stones amid the raked sand of this temple's rock garden is appropriately solemn for a National Treasure and UNESCO World Heritage site. The simple composition, a photograph in many schoolchildren's textbooks, can be viewed as a contemplative oasis or a riddle to challenge the mind. From any single vantage point, only 14 of the 15 stones can be seen. In the Buddhist tradition the number 15 signifies completion, and the garden's message is interpreted by many to be that completion is not possible in this world. As mystical as the experience is for some visitors, first-timers may find themselves mystified at the garden's fame. This is a setting that changes with every viewing, reflecting the maturity of the onlooker as years pass. The stroll garden beyond the temple building remains much as it was originally designed in the 11th century.

Sight Information


13 Goryoshita-cho, Ryoan-ji, Kyoto, Kyoto-fu, 616-8001, Japan

Map It



Sight Details:

  • ¥500

Published 12/20/2010


Book A Trip



  • CARS

What's Nearby

  • Restaurants
  • Sights
  • Hotels

See all sights in Kyoto

Subscribe to Newsletter
Sign up for Travel Tips & News
I want emails from Fodor's Travel with travel information and promotions. I can unsubscribe any time using the unsubscribe link at the end of all emails.

Thank you for your interest!

Look out for our newsletters with travel tips and special offers.