I was thinking it was good to be a quiet place.

Kennjinji Temple, the temple was founded in 1202 as a center of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism (founded by Eisai Zenji and Yoriike Minamoto) and remains a spiritual center for people today. When I walked in the premises, I could really feel so.

Road in the precincts of Kenninji Temple

The road in the premises of Kenninji Temple (taken by the author)

In some places, I sometimes feel that the atmosphere is spoiled by too many people, but this is not the case here. There is a quiet atmosphere typical of Zen Buddhism flowing throughout the area, and Kenninji Temple has a gentle power to calm even the mind.

The inside of the main temple is also nice and quiet. In the courtyard, there is a garden called “Shion-niwa” (garden of three rows of stones).

Shion garden (taken by the author)

It is a Zen Garden with a stone in the center, a stone for zazen (sitting meditation) in the east, and foliage around the stone. Although the season is summer and there are no autumn leaves, sitting on the couch and looking at the space surrounded by greenery is very calming to the mind and body. It makes me feel as if time is passing slowly and I don’t have to live so fast.

The same is true when looking at Daioen, a large Karesansui-style garden with white sand and green moss. It still feels soothing and very good.


Daioen (taken by the author)


The most impressive feature of Kenninji Temple is the huge twin dragons painted on the ceiling of the Dharma Hall.

(Painted by Junsaku Koizumi in 2002)

double-headed dragon

Ssangyong (taken by the author)

It is difficult to imagine anyone who would not be surprised to be confronted with a painting of twin dragons that is both serene and intense, and painted with a sense of dynamism. It is said that when you clap your hands, it sounds as if a dragon is crying.

Dragons have often been depicted in the Dharma halls of Zen temples as guardians of Buddhism. It is also said to be “the god of water” meaning that it brings rain of Buddhist teachings to the monks and protects buildings from fire.

However, in the 800-year history of Kenninji Temple, there is no record of a dragon being painted on the ceiling of the Dharma Hall, and this painting of twin dragon is the first ceiling painting since the temple was founded (the following is abbreviated.).
Referred to “Ssanyong, painted by Junsaku Koizumi”.

Kenninji Temple where time is quietly, gently, and slowly. On the other hand, Kenninji Temple also has dynamic ceiling paintings such as those of twin dragons. It can be said that this place is where one can experience Zen Buddhism firsthand.

Yeah, I’m sure it is.


  • Location: Kyoto City Higashiyama district Yamato Oji Street Shijo Kudaru Komatu town.
  • URL:
  • Twitter:
  • Instagram:
  • Viewing hours:
    From 10 4:30 P.M. (End of new enter) (Closed at 5 P.M.)
  • Fees:
    Ordinary person; 600-yen, junior or high school students: 300-yen, elementary school students: 200-yen (Children before entering elementary school is free.)
    ※Impossible to enter only those under elementary school ages.
  • Those who come by train
    7-minute walk from Keihan train “Gion Shijo Station.”
    10-minute walk from Hankyu “Kawaramachi Station”.
  • Those who come by bus
    Kyoto City Bus 206 system or 100 system from JR Kyoto Station
    5-minute walk from Kyoto City Bus Stop “Higashiyama Yasui”
    7-minute walk from Kyoto City Bus Stop “Minamiza mae”
    10-minute walk from Kyoto City Bus Stop “Gion”, “Shimizu michi”
  • Those who come by car
    Please use the parking lots near the north gate.
  • Those who come by taxi
    About 10-minute ride from JR Kyoto Station.
  • Those who come by bicycles
    There is a parking spaces for bicycles on the west side of the bell tower, just past the north gate.




京都三条会商店街北 薬膳&カフェ 雅(みやび) サイト制作・運営 一般社団法人シシン