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Nanzenji Temple
Holiday Travel Guide

Art, elaborate gardens and a giant gate await at this temple that stands tall as one of the most important of its kind in the country.

Tourists gather at the Nanzenji Zen Buddhist temple nestled at the foot of the Higashiyama Mountains. It is known throughout Japan for its spiritual importance as the head of a branch of Rinzai Zen. The shrine, which is decorated by multicolored trees, is packed full of antique paintings and ornate gardens.

Gaze up at the 72-foot-high (22-meter) Sanmon Gate. From the balcony at the top of the gate, take vibrant photos of the green, orange and red foliage with a mountainous landscape beyond them. Marvel at the 124 sliding-door paintings from the Kano school of art. Many of the works portray tigers. Visit in the fall to make the most of the changing colors of the leaves.

Find yourself in the elegant Hojo Garden. It consists of rocks, small pebbles and sand. The Tsuiji Wall surrounding the grounds is made from mud. The particular arrangement of the stones is known as the “mother tiger and her cubs crossing a river.” Admire a charming waterfall from the tearoom. Check out the Lake Biwa aqueduct from the late 19th century within the temple’s grounds. Visit one of the complex’s 12 sub-temples, which include Nanzen-in, Konchi-in and Tenjuan.

Originally a retirement home for an emperor in the 13th century, the building was later converted into a Zen temple. There is a fee to enter the gardens and certain buildings, although the temple precincts are free. The complex is closed annually for the last few days of December.

Nanzenji Temple is located in the northeastern sector of the city. The nearest subway station is Keage, which is on the Tozai Line. It is only a few minutes away on foot. The Nanzenji-Eikando-michi bus stop is close. These transportation links can be accessed easily from Kyoto Station. Nearby sites include the Philosopher’s Walk, Konchi-in Temple and Okazaki Park.

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Top things to do in Nanzenji Temple

Top 10 Hotels Near Nanzenji Temple

The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo
The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo
4 out of 5
The price is SG$115 per night from 20 Jan to 21 Jan
Excludes taxes & fees

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is steps away from Kiyamachi Street and Pontocho. Kawaramachi and Nishiki Market are also within 10 minutes. Shiyakusho-mae ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (1,002 reviews)

"The staff was always helpful, even with the coronavirus going around"…"

Reviewed on 16 Mar,2020

The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
4 out of 5
1 Taimatsu-cho, Shiokoji-sagaru, HigashiHorikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is SG$119 per night from 7 Feb to 8 Feb
Excludes taxes & fees

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Kyoto Railway Museum and Nishiki Market are also within 2 ...

4.4/5Excellent! (2,787 reviews)

"Location is great and the room was pretty nice. Some grime in the bathroom."…"

Reviewed on 28 Dec,2020

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
Ryokan KANADE
Ryokan KANADE
4 out of 5
The price is SG$218 per night from 19 Jan to 20 Jan
Excludes taxes & fees

Located in Sakyo Ward, this ryokan is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Municipal Zoo and Heian Shrine. Kyoto University and Nanzenji Temple are also within 1 ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (141 reviews)
Authentic and Charming Ryokan

"This ryokan is beautifully decorated, staffed by amazingly receptive and kind people, and provides an authentic experience in Kyoto in a quiet area. I had the pleasure of enjoying both dinner and breakfast, done in courses and I have to say both were top dining experiences for me. Even with some ..."…"

Reviewed on 9 Mar,2020

Ryokan KANADE
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Nanzenji Temple

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Nanzenji Temple

Top Nanzenji Temple Hotel Deals

The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo
The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo
4 out of 5
The price is SG$115 per night from 20 Jan to 21 Jan
Excludes taxes & fees
The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
4 out of 5
1 Taimatsu-cho, Shiokoji-sagaru, HigashiHorikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is SG$119 per night from 7 Feb to 8 Feb
Excludes taxes & fees
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
Ryokan KANADE
Ryokan KANADE
4 out of 5
The price is SG$218 per night from 19 Jan to 20 Jan
Excludes taxes & fees
Ryokan KANADE
Nanzenji sando KIKUSUI
Nanzenji sando KIKUSUI
3.5 out of 5
The price is SG$817 per night from 26 Jan to 27 Jan
Excludes taxes & fees
Nanzenji sando KIKUSUI
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
5 out of 5
The price is SG$1,101 per night from 31 Jan to 1 Feb
Excludes taxes & fees
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
Kyoto Nanzenji Ryokan Yachiyo
Kyoto Nanzenji Ryokan Yachiyo
3.5 out of 5
The price is SG$401 per night from 23 Jan to 24 Jan
Excludes taxes & fees
Kyoto Nanzenji Ryokan Yachiyo
Aoi Philosophers Path Villa
Aoi Philosophers Path Villa
3.5 out of 5
The price is SG$1,037 per night from 22 Jan to 23 Jan
Excludes taxes & fees
Aoi Philosophers Path Villa
Hotel Heian No Mori Kyoto
Hotel Heian No Mori Kyoto
3.5 out of 5
The price is SG$95 per night from 18 Feb to 19 Feb
Excludes taxes & fees
Hotel Heian No Mori Kyoto
The Westin Miyako Kyoto
The Westin Miyako Kyoto
4 out of 5
The price is SG$648 per night from 19 Jan to 20 Jan
Excludes taxes & fees
The Westin Miyako Kyoto
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.