Highlights and access methods of Kennin-ji Temple (Kyoto Prefecture)

In this article, we will explain the attractions of Kennin-ji Temple in Kyoto Prefecture and how to access it for those who are traveling to Japan from overseas.

Kennin-ji Temple(0)

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(Prefecture : Kyoto , Category : Temples)

About Kennin-ji Temple

Kennin-ji Temple is a historic Zen Buddhist temple located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded in 1202 by the monk Eisai, it is the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto and serves as the head temple of the Kennin-ji branch of Rinzai Zen Buddhism. The temple is renowned for its stunning traditional architecture, tranquil Zen gardens, and exquisite screen paintings, such as the "Fujin Raijin-zu" by Tawaraya Sotatsu and the "Twin Dragons" by Koizumi Junsaku. Visitors to Kennin-ji can enjoy a peaceful and meditative atmosphere while exploring the temple grounds and learning about the rich history and teachings of Zen Buddhism in Japan.

Highlights of Kennin-ji Temple

For foreign tourists, Kennin-ji Temple offers an authentic and immersive experience of Japanese Zen Buddhism in the heart of Kyoto. As the oldest Zen temple in the city, it provides a unique opportunity to delve into the history and practice of this spiritual tradition. The temple's tranquil atmosphere, characterized by its elegant architecture, Zen gardens, and stunning screen paintings, allows visitors to appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of Japanese culture. A visit to Kennin-ji Temple is not only a journey through the history of Zen Buddhism but also a chance to experience the serenity and introspection it inspires, making it a must-see attraction in Kyoto.

The recommended season to visit Kennin-ji Temple is during the fall, specifically between mid-October and mid-November. This period marks the peak of autumn foliage in Kyoto, transforming the temple grounds into a picturesque landscape of vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. The vivid colors of the maple leaves perfectly complement the temple's traditional architecture and Zen gardens, creating a serene and visually stunning atmosphere. Visiting Kennin-ji Temple during the fall season allows visitors to experience the beauty of Japanese nature while exploring the historic site and embracing the tranquility of Zen Buddhism.

Address and access method of Kennin-ji Temple

Kennin-ji Temple is located at 584 Komatsucho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0811, Japan.

The nearest station to the temple is Gion-Shijo Station on the Keihan Main Line. From Gion-Shijo Station, it is approximately a 10-minute walk to Kennin-ji Temple. Alternatively, you can also access the temple via a short walk from Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line or Higashiyama Station on the Kyoto City Subway Tozai Line. These stations are both around a 15-minute walk from Kennin-ji Temple.

Attractions near Kennin-ji Temple

There are several other popular attractions near Kennin-ji Temple in Kyoto:

Yasaka Shrine
A historic Shinto shrine known for its lively atmosphere and vibrant festivals, such as the Gion Matsuri. It is located only a 10-minute walk from Kennin-ji Temple and features traditional architecture, beautiful lanterns, and a bustling environment.

Gion District
Kyoto's famous geisha district, Gion is a charming area filled with traditional wooden machiya houses, teahouses, and high-end restaurants. Just a 5-minute walk from Kennin-ji Temple, Gion offers a unique glimpse into the historic atmosphere of Kyoto and a chance to spot geisha or maiko (apprentice geisha) on their way to work.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kiyomizu-dera is an iconic Buddhist temple known for its scenic views, elegant pagoda, and waterfalls. Located about a 20-minute walk from Kennin-ji Temple, it is a must-visit destination for those interested in the rich history and natural beauty of Kyoto.

Maruyama Park
A spacious public park famous for its gorgeous cherry blossoms during spring. Just a 15-minute walk from Kennin-ji Temple, Maruyama Park is a popular spot for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties and offers a relaxing environment amidst the busy city.

These attractions, all within walking distance of Kennin-ji Temple, provide a diverse range of experiences, allowing visitors to explore the history, culture, and natural beauty of Kyoto.

Other information about Kennin-ji Temple

Official site (Japanese only) about Kennin-ji Temple :


Kennin-ji Temple(1)

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( Written by Tatsuo Ikura )