Areas with white sand are characteristic of temple gardens in Kyoto, but the halt of the production of Shirakawa-suna (sand obtained from local white granite) in the 1980s led to their change or loss. This study aimed to clarify the position and expressive form of white sand areas qualitatively and quantitatively, and to grasp their characteristics in the garden composition of different periods. Based on 18 garden-related documents, we selected 68 gardens with white sand areas which were built no later than the Showa period. Then we conducted field investigations and calculated the occupancy rates of white sand areas in each garden. Most gardens were built in Edo or Showa era, belonging to the Rinzai School. Three positions (the whole garden, the front of garden and the middle of garden) were found. The white sand areas in main Front gardens of hojo abbot’s quarters showed the highest average occupancy rates, followed by other gardens of the hojo, and gardens of shoin study hall. Raking patterns were found in over 90% of gardens, while sand terrace and sand pile were seen in 8 gardens. Combination with other elements such as stones and moss was found in 36 gardens. The white sand gardens were formed in Muromachi era, developed in Edo era, decreased from Meiji era, and rose again in Showa era while the ritual function of hojo front gardens started to decline.