Kyoto Parks and Gardens

(Kyoto, Kansai, Central Honshu, Japan)

Photo of lake and lush planting at the Ryoanji GardenVarious parks and landscaped Japanese gardens are to be found around the city of Kyoto, with the Ryoanji Garden being especially notable and the perhaps the world's most famous Zen garden. Also of interest within the city is the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park, where a range of recreational activities are always on offer.

For those who are a little more serious about their horticulture, the historic Prefectural Botanical Gardens are simply unmissable and full of plant specimens and seasonal interest. Kyoto's main parks and gardens are detailed below.

View of Zen Garden at the Ryoanji

Ryoanji Garden

Address: 13 Goryonoshita-cho Ryoanji, Kyoto, 26 616 8001, Japan, JP
Tel: +81 075 463 2216
Dating from the 15th century and designed to inspire meditation, the Ryoanji Garden presents a Zen 'koan', or riddle, to those who visit. Its rock formations, raked white gravel and patches of colour provided by moss, give the garden a true sense of tranquillity. The large lake is incredibly peaceful, but make sure you get here early if you want to avoid the crowds.
Open hours: daily - 08:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge

Picture of springtime flowers at the Prefectural Botanical Gardens

Prefectural Botanical Gardens

Address: Shimogamo Hanki-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-0823, Japan, JP
Tel: +81 075 701 0141
Plant lovers should add a visit to Kyoto's Prefectural Botanical Gardens to their itinerary and will enjoy the diverse collection of plants on offer here. Founded almost 100 years ago, the gardens are home to literally thousands of plants, which take on altogether different appearances throughout the year, with flowering cherry trees, camellias and azaleas during the spring, fragrant roses in the summer months, and vibrant fall colours every autumn. The Prefectural Botanical Gardens have become known for their enormous glasshouses, which house many important plant collections.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge

Photo showing the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park

Kyoto Imperial Palace Park

Address: 3 Kyoto Gyoen, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, 602-0881, Japan, JP
Tel: +81 075 211 1215
The Kyoto Imperial Palace Park is an important area of green and can be found right in the very centre of the city. A great place for a stroll, impromptu picnic, recreational activities or simply a sit down, this centrally located park is home to the Imperial Palace complex and is popular with both visitors and locals alike, being close to a range of further attractions.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free