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Kennin-ji Temple
Kennin-ji Temple

Kennin-ji Temple

Daily 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
584 Komatsu-cho, Kyoto

The basics

The original temple complex contained seven buildings, but fires throughout the centuries destroyed much of the original architecture. Today three outstanding buildings remain: the Dharma Hall, the principal building; a tea house; and the Imperial Messenger Gate. The gate dates back to the 12th or 13th centuries; marks from stray arrows during battles can still be seen today. Kennin-ji boasts a tranquil Zen garden. Numerous tours stop here, particularly those focusing on religion, architecture, and garden design.

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Things to know before you go

  • Remember to dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering temple halls.
  • Discounted admission is available for students.
  • Wheelchair users will find some difficulty accessing the temple, with uneven paths and small steps to navigate.
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How to get there

The temple is located on Hanamikoji Street in the tourist-friendly “Geisha District” of Gion, just around the corner from Marauyama Park. It’s about a 10-minute walk from Gion Shijo Station on Kyoto's Keihan line and from Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line.

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Trip ideas


When to get there

Like many temples in Kyoto, Kennin-ji's hours vary between seasons. The temple is typically open during the day, with slightly longer hours in March through October. The temple is closed from December 28-31. Go first thing in the morning to avoid crowds and note that admission ends half an hour before closing.

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The Kyoto Gozan

The Five Mountains of Kyoto is a system inspired by South China's erstwhile "five mountain system" in which five state-sponsored Zen temples were created to help the government influence temples. In Japan, this system was used to promote Zen practices and gain political control. Kennin-ji was one such temple, along with Tenryu-ji, Shokoku-ji, Tofuku-ji, and Manju-ji, all of which stand to this day.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Kennin-ji Temple?
A:
Attractions near Kennin-ji Temple:
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Kyoto?
A:
As well as visiting the Kennin-ji Temple, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: