Kankyū-an(官休庵)

Sen no Rikyu is the most famous Japanese tea master and founder of the Japanese way of tea. After his grandson died, his heirs founded three different schools of the Japanese way of tea. One of these schools is Mushanokōjisenke.

Ichiō Sōshu, Sen no Rikyu’s great grandson, he set up his own tea house, called the Kankyū-an (官休庵), on Mushakōji street. It has a famous tea garden, which is closed to the public.

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Directions

How to get there
Take the Karasuma line from Kyoto station and get off at Imadegawa Station (今出川駅).
From there walk about 8 minutes in south western direction until you get to Nishi-Mushanokouji-cho.

Admission
Not open to the public

Fushin-an(不審庵)

Sen no Rikyu is the most famous Japanese tea master and founder of the Japanese way of tea. After his grandson died, his heirs founded three different schools of the Japanese way of tea. One of these schools is Omotesenke, meaning “Front-Sen-house”.

The Omotesenke estate is also known by the name of its representative tea room, the “Fushin-an” (不審庵). This is where Sen Rikyū’s son-in-law, Sen Shōan, reestablished the Kyoto Sen household after Rikyū’s death and where the knowledge of the Omotesenke way of tea has been passed until today.

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Directions

How to get there
Take the city bus number 9 to Horikawaji-no-uchi(18 stops, 27 minutes). From there, walk in eastern direction and turn left into the Ogawa-dori (小川通).

Daisen-in (Daitoku-ji)(大徳寺、大仙院)

Do you want to experience Zen Buddhist philosophy first hand and meet a zen priest that makes you laugh? Do you want to find out where key persons of the Japanese history have lived and worked? Daitoku-ji and its sub-temple Daisen-in are the places to go. Here, the influential tea master Sen no Rikyu underwent strict Zen training in his early years and, as an accomplished tea master, held tea ceremonies for the Shogun under the roof of Daisen-in.

The Daitoku-ji is a temple complex with numerous sub-temples in the northern part of Kyoto. It is one of the main temples of the Rinzai school. In the height of the 16th century it became one of Kyoto’s most important temples.

The subtemple Daisen-in is one of the five most important Zen temples in Kyoto. It has five small extraordinary well maintained gardens. The gardens are all connected and tell the metaphorical story of journey through life according to Buddhism. Within the grounds of the Daitoku-ji, the Daisen-in has a position of particularly high rank. It is one of the few examples of Zen temples from the Muromachi period that still have their original form. The temple was founded in 1509 and by Kogaku Soko and was built between 1509 and 1513. Legend has it, that Soami, the great landscape designer, zen monk, and ink painter, has built the garden with his own hands. With this eBook you can discover the hidden meanings of stone arrangements, gravel patterns and the use and position of particular plants.

Contents
  • Introduction
  • Historical Background – The Muromachi period
  • History of the temple and the Garden
  • Daitoku-ji – Buildings and Highlights
  • Daisen-in – The gardens and their meaning
  • Questions for Hayano-San
  • Jenny’s impressions
  • Eating and Drinking
  • How to get there
9 pages
20 illustrations
3.1 MB

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Directions

How to get there
Bus: Take the bus 205 or 206 and get off at the stop ‘Daitoku-ji’.
Subway: Take the Karasuma line to Kitaō-ji station and walk about 15 minutes in a westward direction.

Admission
400 Yen

Address
EN: 〒603-8231, Kyoto-Shi, Kita-Ku, Murasakino, 53 Daitoku-ji-Chō
JP: 〒603-8231, 京都市 北区 紫野 大徳寺町53

Telephone
075-491-0019

Opening hours
9am-4.30pm

Zuihō-in (Daitoku-ji)  (瑞峯院)

Zuihō-in is an extraordinary temple in Kyoto: It was founded by daimyo Otomo, who was one of the early Christians in Japan. He founded the temple as his family temple; he and his wife are buried here as well. Garden designer Shigemori Mirei, who created the gardens in 1961, included a Garden of the Cross and even a statue of the Virgin Mary in reference to the founder.

The temple itself was built in 1546, after the Onin war (1467-77), so many of its building have never burnt and are still in their original shape.

The main garden to the south of the Hōjō is called Dokuza-tei (独坐庭 ). The Chinese characters mean Alone-Sitting-Garden and refer to an Island of the Taoist mythology. From the famous Horai-Zan, the Mountain of the Blessed, a long and thin peninsula protrudes into the rough sea. Even further away is a single island, sitting alone in the rough waters of the wide sea. If you look at the garden, it is actually really easy to see the Horai-zan in the right-hand corner, the peninsula in front of it and the rough sea.

Contents

Introduction
Daitoku-ji
History of Zuihō-in
-Shigemori Mirei-
Buildings
   -Hōjō
   -Teahouse Yokei-an
   -Teahouse Anshō-ken
   -Teahouse Heisei-tai-an
   -Gates
Gardens
   -Entry Garden
   -Dokuza-tei
   -Kanmin-tei
   -Tea gardens
Anika’s Impressions
Recommendations around Zuihō-in
Access & General Information
Related eBooks

12 pages full of information about the temple
21 pictures of the gardens

PDF 15 MB

 
 

Zuiho-in Video

Watch the Zuiho-in video here.

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Directions

How to get there
Bus: Take the bus 205 or 206 and get off at the stop ‘Daitoku-ji’.
Subway: Take the Karasuma line to Kitaō-ji station and walk about 15 minutes in a westward direction.

Admission
400 Yen

Address
EN: 〒603-8231, Kyoto-Shi, Kita-Ku, Murasakino, 53 Daitoku-ji-Chō
JP: 〒603-8231, 京都市 北区 紫野 大徳寺町53

Telephone
075-491-1454

Opening hours
9am – 5pm

Mirei Shigemori Garden Museum  (重森三玲邸)

The Shigemori Residence is a traditional town house (Machi-ya) dating from the middle Edo period (1789). It has a garden and two tea ceremony pavilions, which both were designed by the famous modern Japanese garden scholar and designer Mirei Shigemori.

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Directions

How to get there
From Kyoto main station, take the city bus 206. Get off after 17 stops (32 minutes) at the bus stop Kyodai-Seimon-mae (京大正門前).
From there walk 260 meter to the east and turn right at the road fork.

Address
34 Kamiojicho, Yoshida Sakyoku, Kyoto 606-8312, Japan

Contact
Fax +81 (0)75 761 8776 E-mail shima753@hotmail.com


Due to limited access by reservation only.
Explanations in Japanese only.

Jizō-in  (地蔵院)

Jizō-in is a really small temple with great atmosphere. Just a few minutes away from Saihō-ji, the moss temple, it is overlooked by most tourists. It was built as a temple of the Buddhist Rinzai school in 1367 by Hosokawa Yoriyuki, the founding priest was Musō Soseki. Like most of Kyoto’s temples and palaces, it was destroyed in the fires of the Ōnin war between 1467-77. During the Edo period (1603-1868), it was re-built.

The temple is also called bamboo temple, or take-no-tera (竹の寺). The approach to the temple is unique: A bamboo grove grows around the temple and creates a mysterious atmosphere. The main hall has a beautiful small garden with several Jizo stone sculptures. Since there are few visitors, it is the perfect spot to sit and contemplate while looking at the old garden.

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Directions

How to get there
Jizō-in is situated close to Saihō-ji, the moss temple, in the picturesque Arashiyama mountains to the west of Kyoto. Although you need to change trains, it is not very complicated to get there. First get to Katsura station by taking the Hankyu Kyoto line. In Katsura, change to the cute trains of the Hankyu Arashiyama line to get to Matsu-o station. From there, you can take bus 78 to get to Koke-dera. After that, it is only a short walk to the temple.

You can also go directly from Kyoto station with bus 28 until Matsuo-Taisha-mae and walk around 15 min in southern direction. From the Sanjō station of the Keihan line, you can take bus 63 to the final stop ‘Koke-dera’.

Opening hours
9am to 4:30pm

Telephone
075-391-3631

Admission
500 Yen

Tōji-in  (等持院)

Tōji-in is another garden attributed to garden designer and Zen priest Musō Soseki. The first Shogun of the Muromachi period, Ashikaga Takauji, built this temple and had Musō Soseki design it. This rather small and secret temple is the family temple of the Ashikaga clan and all of the Ashikaga shoguns are buried here. In the Reikō-den, 15 wooden statues of the Ashikaga shogun and one statue of the following shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu are lined up. Their faces, especially their eyes look incredibly realistic.

In the western garden, there is a pond, a strolling path around it, and a tea house on top of an artificial hill. Before the neighboring university was built, the northern mountains formed the backdrop of the garden. The eastern part of the garden has a lot of trees and winding ways around the pond, so that the visitor loses orientation before the path leads him back to the main buildings.

This garden is one of the calmest, less frequented gardens in Kyoto and perfect for a break. There is also green tea being served on the veranda with a great view on the garden.

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Directions

How to get there
Take the bus number 205 from Kyoto station towards Kujoshako-mae. After 19 stops and 37 minutes, get off at the Kinugasako-mae (衣笠校前) bus stop. Then walk 900 meter in towards the west to get to Tōji-in.

Opening times
9am-5pm

Admission
500 Yen 

Address
北区等持院北町63
Kyoto-fu, Kita-ku, Tōji-in, Kitamachi 63

Jōruri-ji  (浄瑠璃寺)

Jōruri-ji (浄瑠璃寺) is a temple of the Jōdo school of Pure Land Buddhism. It was founded in 1047 by the priest Eshin. It is laid out around a large pond, which was dug out in 1150. Ponds in temples of the Pure Land school symbolize the ocean between birth and death, with a center island that depicts earth.

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Directions

How to get there
From Kyoto station, take the JR Nara line towards Nara. After 6 stops and 35 minutes, change trains in Kizu (木津) to the Kansai Main like towards Kamo (加茂). Get off the train in Kamo and take a taxi to the temple (5km, 12 minutes)

Opening times
9am – 5pm

Admission
300 Yen

Address

京都府木津川市加茂町西小札場40
Futaba-40 Kamocho Nishio
Kizugawa, Kyoto Prefecture 619-1135

Konchi-in  (金地院 南禅寺)

Konchi-in is a sub-temple of the Nanzen-ji temple complex. The temple was built in the early 15th century by shogun Ashikaga Yoshimochi (足利義持). In 1605, it was relocated from northern Kyoto to its present location inside the Nanzen-ji temple complex. A few years later, between 1611 and 1632, the garden was built in preparation of the shogun’s visit. It is fairly certain that the famous garden designer and tea master Kobori Enshu (小堀遠州) has built the garden. A lot of gardens around Kyoto have been attributed to him, but in contrast to these, the creation process of this temple garden is very well documented.

The garden is said to have been designed as a two dimensional picture, not unlike a fusuma-e (襖絵)、a painting on the wooden screen that often depict landscape scenes and nature. Indeed, the garden can only be viewed from the veranda of the Main Hall of the temple. A wide band of light gray gravel separates the rock arrangements from the viewer. The main feature of the garden is the duo of Crane and Turtle island, arranged with rocks and shrubs.

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Directions

How to get there
Take city bus number 5 and get off the bus at the Nanzen-ji bus stop. Walk about 8 minutes in eastern direction. As for the subway, Keage Station on the Tozai line is a short 7-10 minute walk away.

The most beautiful way to get to Nanzen-ji and its sub-temples is to walk the picturesque Philosopher’s path, which connects Nanzen-ji and Ginkaku-ji, the Silver Pavilion.

Address
Nanzenji-Fukuchi-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-city
京都市左京区南禅寺福地町

Admission
400 Yen

Entsū-ji  (圓通寺)

The Emperor Go-Mizuno abdicated in 1629 and began to built this villa and garden as a retirement residence. It took him 13 years to find the right place for it with a nice view on Mt. Hiei – The temple is famous for its borrowed scenery (shakkei). After the emperor died, the residence became a Zen Buddhist monastery.

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Directions

How to get there
Take the Karasuma line from Kyoto station (platform 1) towards Kokusai-kaikan (国際会館). Get off after 15 minutes at the 8th stop Kitayama station (北山).
From the station, head east on Kitayama-dori (北山通) After 130 meters turn left and continue to follow the road (40) for 1.6km. You will walk through a residential area, then a small wooded area. On the other side of the hill you can find Entsu-ji.

Opening times
10am – 4pm

Admission
500 yen

Address
岩倉幡枝町 389
389 Hataeda-cho Iwakura Sakyo-ku