[Kyoto] Ryoan-ji Temple and Zen Garden - The most picturesque and serene temple in Kyoto

Ryoan-ji is probably my favorite temple I visited in Kyoto because it's just so darn peaceful and beautiful!

Ryoan-ji is a little off the beaten path, but not really because it's pretty easy to take the bus from Kinkaku-ji. Even though it's so close by bus, it isn't super walkable and there weren't that many tourists, much to my surprise. Since we had the daily unlimited bus pass (100% get the unlimited bus pass - you can ask any bus driver for it; skip the unlimited subway+bus pass because subway isn't that useful in Kyoto), it really wasn't a hard decision to make.

Seriously, look how beautiful the grounds are. There's this beautiful lake. The weather was just 100% on our side that day.

This was obviously better in person and I wish I would have brought my camera on this trip, but I forgot it at my friend's apartment.

Even this rock was amazing. That's just how much I love this temple.
 Everything is just so picturesque and exactly like you imagine from tour books.
So, the unique thing about Ryoan-ji is that it has this zen meditation garden. There's a wooden area on one side of it (you enter through the building - make sure to take off your shoes!). You can sit there and relax and just clear your mind. I totally understood the draw to meditation during this trip.
Even though there was a large elementary school tour group surrounding us, it was still peaceful. That's how amazing this place was.
Since the grounds are so big, it is easy to find a nice peaceful and secluded spot. The only crowded place we encountered was that zen garden. AND, it was only crowded there right when we got there because of the aforementioned school group - the had left before we finished looking around the rest of the grounds, so we took a rest there for some time since we're old ladies and we had been touring so much.
Seriously, just so picturesque everywhere.
 So darn photogenic.
So, I will quit my commentary now and you should just keep looking at pictures.

Check out some more of my Japan blogs with some more of my favorite places in Kansai/Osaka/Kobe.

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