Things to do
The oldest Zen temple in Kyoto, once a place where many artists gathered

Kennin-ji Temple

Kennin-ji Temple
Located on Hanamikoji Street, the main street of Gion, is a temple known to be the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto. The founder of Kennin-ji Temple, Eisai, is a Buddhist monk recognized for bringing the Zen sect to Japan as well as the culture of tea ceremony. His tomb lies in the grounds of Kaisan-do (the founder’s hall) located within Kennin-ji Temple. Eisai was a major contributor of both history and culture of Japan, and the appreciation towards art in particular is still cultivated in this templ...moree.

Just south of Kennin-ji Temple is the area known for a particular earthenware called Kiyomizu-yaki. While there was a period that pottery shifted from Kiyomizu-yaki earthenware to porcelain, Kennin-ji Temple was the place where artists and potters often gathered.
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Well Worth a Visit
Less known but widely loved by both tourists and locals. Recommended if your schedule permits.
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There’s so much to see in Kennin-ji! I was amazed to find out that this was a temple where many potters and artists gathered. I can only imagine how it was the place to be as an artist back in the day. The culture of tea ceremony was brought to Japan by the founder of Kennin-ji. Enjoy a Zen moment by the garden!
There are so many things to see within this temple! To see all of it, it may take around two hours. The Zen gardens are spots where you can relax. It’s located close to central Gion area so the access to Kennin-ji Temple is easy. You are free to take pictures inside the temple!
Ceramic Figures of Sixteen Arhats
Must See !
Ceramic Figures Of Sixteen Arhats
For those familiar with pottery, you may be able to identify the different method of baking used for these figures. The following methods were used: Raku pottery baked at low temperature, ceramics and porcelain both fired with or without glaze. These are figures of Arhats, a term given to a person who has attained enlightenment in Buddhism. The Arhats figures were made to celebrate the 700-year anniversary of Kennin-ji Temple by several artists.
Twin Dragons
Must See !
Twin Dragons
Dragons are recognized to be the protectors of Buddhist teachings, therefore, drawings of dragons are often found in Zen temples. To recognize the 800-year anniversary of Kennin-ji Temple, this 11.4m by 15.7m painting by artist Junsaku Koizumi of twin dragons were installed. This is the first painting of dragons of any kind to be displayed in Kennin-ji Temple.
Sit by the Zen Garden
Must Do !
Sit By The Zen Garden
Several gardens are inside of Kennin-ji Temple. Take a few moments to observe the Zen values by the garden. Many people are attracted to this temple from all over the world. Monks from overseas are seen visiting the temple as well as visitors from around Japan.
Buy a Goshuuin-Book
Must Do !
Buy A Goshuuin Book
Check out the shop near by the entrance after you get your admission ticket. You can find Goshuuin book which is a notebook for collecting calligraphy from temples. Purchase one with dragon on the cover here to start your collection of calligraphies. The Goshuuin book is 1,400 yen and to get a hand-written calligraphy is 300 yen.
Manner & Tips
- Manner & Tips -
Enjoy the Zen garden and see the natural scenery which changes its face seasonally.
Notice the artistic values throughout the temple. There are both modern and historical art in Kennin-ji Temple.
Kennin-ji Temple Appearance Photo
Kennin-ji Temple
Categories Temples & Shrines, Japanese Gardens
Phone +81 75-561-0190
Address 584 Komatsu-cho, Yamato Ooji Shijyo Sagaru, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi
Directions 7-minute walk from Keihan Gion Shijyo Stn.
10-minute walk from Hankyuu Kawaramachi Stn.
10-minute by taxi from JR Kyoto Stn.
Take Kyoto City bus #206 or #100 from JR Kyoto Stn.
Hours March 1 - October 31: 10am - 4:30pm
November 1 - February 28: 10am - 4pm
Reservations Not accepted
Closed December 28 - December 31
*dates may change every year
Notes The shop accepts credit cards, but the entrance fee is cash only
Fee ¥500/person
¥300/middle or highschool student
Free for children in elementary school and under.
Credit cards Accepted only at the shop. Cash only for admission.
Friendly for Overseas Visitors
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Information sheet available in different languages. Easy to access.
Information Pamphlets available in German, Korean, French, Chinese, and English
Languages spoken Japanese only
Kennin-ji Temple +81 75-561-0190 ¥500/person ¥300/middle or highschool student Free for children in elementary school and under. 3/3

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