Nanzen-ji Zen Temple

The head temple of the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism, located in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City. The temple was founded by the priest Mukan Fumon as the Zenrin-ji-dono, the imperial villa of Emperor Kameyama in 1291. The temple’s standing is high; it is considered above the five most important Rinzai temples in both Kyoto and Kamakura. Its triple gate is considered one of the three most impressive temple gates in Kyoto and is also famous as the setting of a scene in the kabuki play Sanmon gosan no kiri, in which the character of Ichikawa Goemon utters the well-known line, “How beautiful, how beautiful!” The temple houses numerous Important Cultural Properties, such as famed painter Kano Tan’yu’s screen paining The Tiger of Mizunomi. The grounds contain an abbot’s residence which is a National Treasure and was moved here from the former imperial palace of Fushimi Castle. The temple’s garden is a dry landscape garden representative of the early Edo period style.

Spot details

Kyoto Kyoutoshi Sakyou-ku Nanzenjifukuchichou
[12/1-2/28] 8:40-16:30
*Visit Reception ends 20 minutes before closing
12/28-12/31 General visit is not possible
[VisitVisitation fee]
[Hojo garden]General600yen, High school students500yen, Elementary and junior high school students400yen
[Sanmon]General600yen, High school students500yen, Elementary and junior high school students400yen
[Nanzenin]General400yen, High school students350yen, Elementary and junior high school students250yen
Parking Lot
Credit Card
Available (VISA, MasterCard, JCB, UnionPay)
Not available (whole Grounds)
Not available
English Menu
Can be enjoyed even on a rainy day
Estimated stay time
30-60 minutes
Wheelchair accessible
Infant friendly

Information Sources:  NAVITIME JAPAN

Articles about this spot


  • a wonderful return visit.
    5.0 Reviewed:2021.02.11
    came to beloved kyoto to visit our wonderful friend after hiking the kumano kodo trail.our 6th visit to japan, our third exploration of kyoto.lucky us to have our japanese friend who was raised in...
  • Maybe the most picturesque place in all of Kyoto
    5.0 Reviewed:2020.11.13
    While other temples, shrines and gardens typically take the spotlight in Kyotos list of sights, Nanzen-Ji is maybe the one stuck best in my memory. What struck as my particularly memorable was the...
    5.0 Reviewed:2020.03.22
    WOW temple and grounds - you even get to climb up STEEP steps into the HUGE entrance gate (shoes off please!) - for a spectacular view of the whole complex. This is you final stop along the...

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