Located atop a hill in southeast Kyoto, this seldom-visited temple is secret treasure. Both the garden and the Buddhist images are superb.
Garden at Unryu-in: Amstk / Shutterstock.com
If you’re going to tramp all the way up the hill to visit Sennyu-ji Temple, it’s worth walking another 200 meters or so to visit the tiny subtemple of Unryu-in (“Cloud Dragon Temple”). It is, without a doubt, one of the finest small temples in Kyoto. You can spend hours gazing over the gardens. And, for a mere Y900, they’ll serve you a delicious bowl of matcha and a Japanese sweet to enjoy while gazing out over the garden.
36 Sennyuji Yamanouchicho, Higashiyama-ku
9am to 4:30pm
Non-smoking area: Yes
20min walk from Tofuku-ji Station, JR Nara line or Keihan line (it’s a long walk uphill, so consider a taxi if it’s hot or raining or you’re not in good shape)
:: Check availability and pricing for hotels near to Unryu-in Temple on Booking.com or Agoda.com.
Official Website (Japanese)
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, you might save money with Japan Rail Pass – see if it's worth itfor you
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Kyoto easy – here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world