just a short bus ride away from the famous Kinkakuji is the most famous zen temple, Ryoanji. Also listed as one of the UNESCO wolrd heritage sites, this was put on my list when I first went to Kyoto.

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the whole area is very calm to begin with. despite having a lot of tourists (mostly from visiting Kinkakuji), the beauty of the area did not subside.

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the Ryoanji building.

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upon entry, you should buy a ticket on the right side.

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if my memory did not serve me wrong, the entrance fee to Ryoanji was 600yen although it is stated 500yen on the website.

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a miniature Ryoanji and also scripts for the blind. don’t get it since the real Ryoanji is right behind.

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here, I present you Japan’s most renown Zen garden, Ryoanji.

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but the truth is.. I felt no zen. I mean, you are supposed to sit in front of the beautifully drawn marbles in front and meditate but with all the noise and crowd AND, barely a place to sit, I felt like my 600yen went to waste. the area was small and there’s nothing much other than this zen garden which was flocked by people and all you could hear when you close your eyes is their shutter sound.

so a tip for you? come here during the off-peak season and maybe you can feel some zen.

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even my mini wide-angle camera couldn’t get a widespread picture of the place. so I had to take a panaroma shot haha.

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yep, I’m a fashion disaster. haha. and this is the other side of the garden.

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sadly, I couldn’t enter the other side which looked really pretty.


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errrr… zen tatami?

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while the entrance was super congested, the exit was empty.


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but like I’ve always said, the beautiful landscapes even outside of the attractions are enough of a reason to visit Kyoto.


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some really pretty restaurant.

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entrance to the restaurant! didn’t dine in because it costed a bomb T_T.

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and the lake nearby. pretty no?

all in all, I think it is worth a visit if you’re already at Kinkakuji. but if you’re on a tight budget, I’d say that it is a “okay to skip” place even though it is a UNESCO site. it is a little too small for a 600yen entrance fee. unless you come on a non peak season and feel some zen, if not I don’t think it is worth it.

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9 years ago

So pretty oo~

Maybe the zen, you have to feel it quietly.