Kenninji, appreciated as the oldest zen temple in Kyoto

zen garden in Kenninji TempleGallery

A beautiful zen garden in the oldest zen temple in Kyoto


Kenninji Temple (Kenninji), built in 1202, is said to be the oldest zen temple in Kyoto, where zen teachings were handed down. It was built under the patronage of the shogun Minamoto no Yoriie, with Zen master Eisai as its founder.

The zen garden (karesansui garden) in front of the Hojo(chief priest’s living room) is also exceptionally beautiful, and is said to be modeled after the scenery of Hyakujyo Mountain in So Dynasty China.

the garden of circle, triangle and square in Kenninji

The garden of 0, △ and □ is another well-known zen garden, reportedly created by combining the symbols, 0, △ and □, representing the four major ideas of zen (earth, water, fire and wind).  The garden is not only profoundly elegant but also unique.

another zen garden in Kenninji

Kenninji Temple is located in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, and is easily accessible by public transportation (trains and buses) from JR Kyoto Station.


建仁寺を巡る|建仁寺 The Oldest Zen Temple Kenninji
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