KYOTO GARDENS

Kyoto Gardens - Kyoto features some of the top Japanese gardens in all of Japan. Detailed here are the most significant Kyoto Gardens along with many other Japanese gardens of Kyoto.

Detailed here are over 70 of the most significant and beautiful Japanese gardens in Kyoto. We have also made additional lists of the Kyoto Japanese Gardens by useful groupings such as season type and style.

KYOTO GARDENS BY SEASON

Here we have grouped the Japanese gardens of Kyoto for their seasonal highlights, with the best places in Kyoto to see Autumn leaves and cherry blossom.

Kyoto Gardens featuring Autumn Leaves
Kyoto Gardens featuring Cherry Blossom

SPECIAL PLACES OF SCENIC BEAUTY

Kyoto Gardens - Special Places of Scenic Beauty have been designated as "Special Places of Scenic Beauty" by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology under the Protection of Cultural Properties Act. Generally the Kyoto Japanese gardens included in the list of "Special Places of Scenic Beauty" would be considered to the be the best, however they don't include Japanese Imperial properties as the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology does not have jurisdiction over Imperial properties.

LIST OF KYOTO GARDENS

Anrakuji Temple

Anrakuji Temple
Anrakuji Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is very popular in cherry blossom season, early summer for its azaleas and its Autumn leaves of red and orange. Anrakuji Temple Kyoto is along Kyo...

Bokugoan

Bokugoan
Bokugoan, also known as Ho-o-ji Temple, is a Buddhist temple that was originally established in Nagaokakyo-shi in the 6th century. Bokugoan was moved several times before 1888, when it was p...

Byodoin Temple

Byodoin Temple
Byodoin Temple is a famous Buddhist temple which appears on the 10 Yen coin. Byodoin Temple is in tea making area of Uji near Kyoto. Byodoin Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and forms ...

Chion-in Temple

Chion-in Temple
Chion-in Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is the head temple for the Buddhist sect of Jodo Shu (Pure Land) and was established by Honen in 1234. Chion-in Temple is within a large compound ...

Chishakuin Temple

Chishakuin Temple
Chishakuin Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect which was moved from Wakayama to the Higashiyama area of Kyoto in 1585. Chishakuin Temple is the first temple on the Kyoto Jusan Bu...

Daigoji Temple

Daigoji Temple
Daigoji Temple is famous for its five storied pagoda, cherry blossom viewing in spring and a traditional Japanese garden. Daigoji Temple is part of a large Japanese Temple complex and is a d...

Daikakuji Temple

Daikakuji Temple
Daikakuji Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Esoteric sect, in Saga Kyoto, which was once a detached palace belonging to Emperor Saga. In 876AD it was converted to a temple by his daughter E...

Daisenin Temple

Daisenin Temple
Daisenin Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is a sub temple of Daitokuji Temple and is within the same compound in Kyoto. Daisenin Temple is famous for its rock garden, which is a designated...

Daitokuji Temple

Daitokuji Temple
Daitokuji Temple is a large temple complex with 22 sub-temples including some with famous Japanese gardens. Daitokuji Temple is well known and recognised for its beauty and is a designated S...

Dojuin Temple

Dojuin Temple
Dojuin Temple is a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, which is a sub temple of Tofukuji Temple. Dojuin Temple features a moss garden....

Eikando Zenrin-ji Temple

Eikando Zenrin-ji Temple
Eikando Zenrinji Temple is a Buddhist temple, in Kyoto, which is famous for its bright red and orange Autumn leaves and for its prominence in the past as a center of learning. Eikando Zenrin...

Entsuji temple
Entsuji temple is a Buddhist temple of the Renzai sect which is famous for its Japanese gardens including one featuring the borrowed landscape style . Entsuji temple was established in 1678 ...

Funda-in Temple
Funda-in Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is a sub temple of Tofukuji Temple and within the same complex in Kyoto. Funda-in Temple is famous for its dry landscape Japanese garden which was...

Ginkakuji Temple - Silver Pavilion

Ginkakuji Temple - Silver Pavilion
Ginkaku-ji - Silver Pavilion is a Buddhist temple, that was built in the style of the Golden Pavilion, but was never completed with a matching cover of silver. Ginkaku-ji features some of th...

Heian Jingu Shrine

Heian Jingu Shrine
Heian Jingu is a Shinto Shrine in Kyoto. Heian Jingu is famous for having the largest torii in Japan and its beautiful Japanese Pond Garden (chisen-shoyu-teien or shinden-zukuri), which is o...

Hokongo-in Temple

Hokongo-in Temple
Hokongo-in Temple is a Buddhist temple, which was established in Hanazono, Kyoto in 1130. The current buildings were rebuilt in 1617. Hokongo-in Temple features a waterfall within its ground...

Honenin Temple

Honenin Temple
Honenin Temple is one of the Buddhist temples along Kyoto's Philosopher's Walk. Honenin Temple is a beautiful secluded Japanese Temple, which is famous for its thatched gate and paintings o...

Honganji Temple

Honganji Temple
Honganji Temple is actually two Buddhist temples two hundred metres apart in Kyoto, which were until recently the one temple. Both feature large halls which are designated Important Cultural...

Jakkoin Temple
Jakkoin Temple is a famous scenic Buddhist temple north east of Kyoto. Jakkoin Temple enshrines a 2.5m wooden statue of Jizo-Bosatsu which is an Important Cultural Property. Jakkoin Temple f...

Joju-in Temple
Joju-in Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is famous for its Japanese gardens. The garden in Joju-in Temple is a borrowed scenery style and features a pond with two islands. Joju-in Temple i...

Jonangu Shrine
Jonangu Shrine is famous for its four gardens which represent four different styles from the four periods; Heian, Muromachi, Momoyama and Heisei. These Japanese gardens feature ponds, tea ho...

Joruri-ji Temple
Joruri-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, that was established in 1047 and is famous for its Jodo-shiki (pure land style) Japanese garden. This garden, which features a pond in front o...

Juko-in Temple

Juko-in Temple
Juko-in Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is a sub temple of Daitokuji Temple and is within the same compound in Kyoto....

Kamigamo Shrine

Kamigamo Shrine
Kamigamo Shrine part of a pair of shrines in Kyoto. The other part of the pair is Shimogamo Shrine. Kamigamo Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Japan and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site ...

Katsura Imperial Villa
Katsura Imperial Villa also known as the Katsura Detached Palace, which is related to Kyoto Imperial Palace, but on a different site (hence detached) in western Kyoto. Katsura Imperial Villa...

Kegonji Temple

Kegonji Temple
Kegonji Temple, also referred to as Suzumushi-dera Temple (the "cricket" temple) due to the large number of crickets that can be heard around the temple. Kegonji Temple features a moss cover...

Keishun-in Temple

Keishun-in Temple
Keishun-in Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is one of the thirty eight sub temples of Myoshinji Temple which is within the large Myoshinji Temple complex in north eastern Kyoto. Keishun-in...

Kenninji Temple

Kenninji Temple
Kenninji Temple is the oldest Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto and is the headquarters of the Kenninji sub-sect of the Rinzai sect of Buddhism. Kenninji Temple features the panel painting, 'Fu-j...

Kinkakuji Temple - Golden Pavilion

Kinkakuji Temple - Golden Pavilion
Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku) is the most famous Buddhist temple in Kyoto and probably Japan. Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku) is literally covered in gold leaf and is surround by beautiful Japanese ga...

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Kiyomizu-dera Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is notable for its vast veranda, that offers impressive views of the Kyoto. Kiyomizu-dera Temple is one of the best known sights of Kyoto, be...

Kodaiji Temple
Kodaiji Temple is a Buddhist temple from the Rinzai sect in Kyoto. Kodaiji Temple, formally known as Jubuzan Kodaiji, is the largest of the sub temples of Kenninji Temple. Kodaiji Temple was...

Koetsuji Temple

Koetsuji Temple
Koetsuji Temple, formally known as Taikyo-san, is a Buddhist temple of the Nichiren sect in northern Kyoto. The site of Koetsuji Temple was developed in 1615 when the artist Honami Koetsu re...

Konchi In Temple

Konchi In Temple
Konchi In Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is a sub temple of Nanzenji Temple. Konchi In Temple is famous for its Tsurukame Garden which has an extensive dry landscape style Japanese garde...

Koshoji Temple

Koshoji Temple
Koshoji Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Soto sect. Koshoji Temple is a training centre for the Eiheiji School, was moved to its current site in Uji from Fukakusa in Kyoto in 1648 after it...

Kounji Temple

Kounji Temple
Kounji Temple is a Buddhist temple, which was originally established in Osaka in 1280 then transferred to Nanzenji, Kyoto in 1664. Kounji Temple features a beautiful Chisan Kaiyu-shiki garde...

Kyoto Imperial Palace (Gosho)

Kyoto Imperial Palace (Gosho)
Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) - The Imperial residence when Kyoto was the capital of Japan. Kyoto Gosho features a beautiful and highly acclaimed strolling traditional Japanese garden ...

Manshuin Temple
Manshuin Temple is a Buddhist temple from the Tendai sect in north eastern Kyoto. Manshuin Temple, also known as Manshuin Monzeki, is famous for its dry landscape garden which includes 400 y...

Murinan Villa

Murinan Villa
Murinan Villa was the former villa of Meiji Period soldier and statesman Yamagata Aritomo. Murinan Villa is famous for its strolling Japanese garden which uses the borrow scenery technique a...

Myoshinji Temple

Myoshinji Temple
Myoshinji Temple is large Buddhist temple complex, in Kyoto, which contains thirty eight sub temples, some of which are famous for their Japanese gardens. Myoshinji Temple features several b...

Nanzenji Temple

Nanzenji Temple
Nanzenji Temple (Kyoto) is a popular Japanese Temple complex with a distinctive two-story entrance gate (sanmon) and aqueduct. Nanzenji Temple is famous for its bright red and orange Autumn ...

Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle in Kyoto includes Nimomaru Palace and the ruins of the Honmaru Palace, various support buildings and several beautiful Japanese gardens. Nijo Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Si...

Ninnaji Temple

Ninnaji Temple
Ninnaji Temple is a Buddhist temple, that is the head temple of the Omuro School of the Shingon sect Buddhism, which was founded on the orders of Emperor Koko and completed in 888. Ninnaji T...

Nishi Honganji Temple
Nishi Honganji Temple is one of two Buddhist temples two hundred metres apart in Kyoto, which were until recently the one temple. Nishi Honganji Temple features a large hall which are design...

Obaiin Temple

Obaiin Temple
Obaiin Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is a sub temple of Daitokuji Temple and is within the same compound in Kyoto. Obaiin Temple was established in 1562 under orders of Nobunaga Oda as ...

Reiun-in Temple

Reiun-in Temple
Reiun-in Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is one of the thirty eight sub temples of Myoshinji Temple which is within the large Myoshinji Temple complex in north eastern Kyoto. Unfortunatel...

Rengeji Temple

Rengeji Temple
Rengeji Temple is a Buddhist temple, that is famous for its garden which is best seen when the leaves start to change colour in Autumn. Rengeji Temple is in north eastern Kyoto....

Rozan-ji Temple

Rozan-ji Temple
Rozan-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple, which features a large Zen Japanese garden. The garden in Rozan-ji Temple is unusual as it has large trees on many of islands of moss. Rozan-ji Temple w...

Ryoanji Temple

Ryoanji Temple
Ryoanji Temple is a Buddhist temple, that houses a Japanese gardens which is considered to be one of the most notable examples of the "dry-landscape" style. This garden, which is the quintes...

Ryogen-in Temple

Ryogen-in Temple
Ryogen-in Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is a sub temple of Daitokuji Temple and is within the same compound in Kyoto. Ryogen-in Temple is famous for its five Japanese garden in particul...

Saihoji Temple

Saihoji Temple
Saihoji Temple is Buddhist temple from the Rinzai Zen sect which is famous for its moss garden, which probably the best in Japan. Unfortunately access to Saihoji Temple, also known as Kokede...

Sangen-in Temple

Sangen-in Temple
Sangen-in Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is a sub temple of Daitokuji Temple and is within the same compound in Kyoto. Sangen-in Temple was established in 1589 by Mitunari Ishida, Yukina...

Sanjusangen-do Temple

Sanjusangen-do Temple
Sanjusangendo Temple is a Buddhist temple from the Tendai sect, in the Higashiyama District of Kyoto. Sanjusangendo Temple is famous for the Thousand Armed Kannon it houses. Sanjusangendo Te...

Sanzenin Temple
Sanzenin Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Tendai sect, in northern Kyoto. Sanzenin Temple is famous for its beautiful gardens that feature a moss garden, Autumn leaves and cherry blossom i...

Seiryo-ji Temple

Seiryo-ji Temple
Seiryo-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Pure Land sect, which frequently referred to as Sagashakado (Hall of Shakyamuni Tathagata in Saga). The current site of Seiryo-ji Temple was orig...

Sento Gosho
Sento Gosho is a large garden in the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park and next to the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Sento Gosho is the site of the former Sento Imperial Palace which was destroyed several...

Shinju-an Temple
Shinju-an Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is a sub temple of Daitokuji Temple and is within the same compound in Kyoto....

Shinnyo-do Temple

Shinnyo-do Temple
Shinnyo-do Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Tendai sect in Kyoto. Shinnyo-do Temple is famous for its bright red and orange leaves in Autumn. Shinnyo-do Temple was established in 984AD by ...

Shisendo Temple

Shisendo Temple
Shisendo Temple is a Buddhist temple from the Zen Soto sect, which is to the north east of Kyoto. Shisendo Temple is famous for its Japanese garden which features azalea bushes, gravel areas...

Shodenji Temple
Shodenji Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Rinzai sect, in northern Kyoto close to Kinkakuji - Golden Pavilion. Shodenji Temple is famous for its Japanese rock or dry landscape garden which...

Shorenin Temple

Shorenin Temple
Shorenin Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Tendai sect in Kyoto. Shorenin Temple is one of five Monzeki temples where in the past, the head priest at these temples was always belonged to th...

Shosei-en Garden

Shosei-en Garden
Shosei-en Garden is a formal Japanese garden, in Kyoto, which affiliated with the Higashi Honganji Temple. Shosei-en Garden features several tea houses, a large pond with a waterfall, stone ...

Shugakuin Imperial Villa
Shugakuin Imperial Villa also known as the Shugakuin Detached Palace is a separate, but related site from the Kyoto Imperial Palace (hence detached) which features three main gardens and som...

Taizo-in Temple

Taizo-in Temple
Taizo-in Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is one of the thirty eight sub temples of Myoshinji Temple which is within the large Myoshinji Temple complex in north eastern Kyoto. Taizo-in Tem...

Tenjuan Temple

Tenjuan Temple
Tenjuan Temple is a Buddhist temple, that is a sub temple of Nanzenji Temple and within the massive Nanzenji Temple precinct in Kyoto. Tenjuan Temple is famous for its two beautiful Japanese...

Tenryuji Temple

Tenryuji Temple
Tenryuji Temple is the head temple of the Tenryu sect of Rinzai Zen Buddhism and the most important Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto. Tenryuji Temple possesses many Important Cultural Properties...

Tofukuji Temple

Tofukuji Temple
Tofukuji Temple is a Buddhist temple which is one of the Kyoto Gozan (Five Great Zen Temples of Kyoto). Tofukuji Temple is a large temple complex with 24 sub temples remaining from an origin...

Toji Temple

Toji Temple
Toji Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect, near central Kyoto on a large site with extensive gardens, it is an oasis of calm in a busy area. Toji Temple is famous for its five sto...

Tokai-an Temple

Tokai-an Temple
Tokai-an Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is one of the thirty eight sub temples of Myoshinji Temple which is within the large Myoshinji Temple complex in north eastern Kyoto. Unfortunatel...

Urasenke Konnichian
Urasenke Konnichian is a tea ceremony school which was established in 1956. Urasenke Konnichian features several tea ceremony training rooms, a tea ceremony museum and library. The grounds s...

Yoshimine-dera Temple
Yoshimine-dera Temple is a Buddhist temple in western Kyoto, is the 20th temple on the Saigoku Kannon pilgrimage. Yoshimine-dera Temple features herbal baths said to help neuralgia suffers, ...

Zuiho-in Temple

Zuiho-in Temple
Zuiho-in Temple is a Buddhist temple, which is a sub temple of Daitokuji Temple and is within the same compound in Kyoto. Zuiho-in Temple, established in 1319, features several Japanese gard...

Author: Craig Fryer

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