It's about 3 km between the three of them... so it's a deceptively long walk if you do it on foot.
Interestingly, the popularity of the dry garden only grew from the 1930’s onwards. One aspect of the garden is that of the 15 stones that make up the sculpture, only 14 can be seen at any single position in the garden. The surrounding wall was only a later addition, prior to which it was intended as a part of the vista of the lake beyond. The walls show an unusual pattern. The walls were made by boiling the clay in the oil – and the stains derive from the oil seeping from the clay over the years.
Little known is that Ryōan-ji is also the last resting place of a number of Japanese emperors, from Emperor Uda onwards (he was buried here in 931 AD). Within the lake are two small islands, one known as Benten-jima is the home of Benten, the Shinto goddess of good luck - or at least one of her several homes.
I had not known much about Ryōan-ji apart from the famous dry garden - so the garden and lake was a big (and very pleasant) surprise. I love it when you find things you weren't expecting.
Now off to Ninna-ji... about which I knew very, very little.
Post Script - Blogspot Note: I finally found out how to include large photos without them blurring. The trick is to remove the height and width HTML code altogether. Even if they're the correct dimensions, Blogspot appears to mess displaying them up. Hurray... now comes the big job of going back and fixing about a million photos over the 100+ posts.