Kennin-ji was built in 1202 and is Kyoto’s eldest Zen temple. It belongs to Kyoto’s Five Great Zen Temples after the Mountain system (Gozan – 号山).
There are two zen gardens: The Chou-on-tei,“The garden of the sound of the tide”, which has a San-zon-seki, a Buddhist triad stone arrangement and a Zenzen-seki for Sitting in Zazen meditation. The other garden is called “Circle-Triangle-Square” garden. The idea behind the“circle, triangle, square”is that all things in this universe can be represented by these forms.
How to get there
Take the Kyoto city bus 4 from Kyoto station to Shijo-Kawaramachi-cho (四条河原町), it should take around 15 minutes. From there, got east over the Gion bridge. On the other side of the river, turn right and walk until you get to the next bridge. There, turn left and follow the street for 200 meters until you get to the entrance of Kennin-ji.
March – October: 10am-5pm (last entrance 30 minutes earlier)
November – February: 10am-4:30pm (last entrance 30 minutes earlier)
Closed between December 28th and 31st