Erin-ji(恵林寺)

Erin-ji is a quiet Zen temple surrounded by the Yamanashi mountains. It was built in 1330, when Nikaidō Sadafuji the military governor of the Kai-no-kuni administration asked the Zen priest and garden designer Musō Soseki (夢窓 疎石), also known as Musō Kokushi, to found the temple.

At that time, it was a Rinzai Zen temple of the Engaku-ji branch. It was destroyed in the Ōnin war (1467-77), but rebuilt when the Takeda samurai clan appointed it to be their family temple. In 1541, it changed to be a temple of the Myōshin-ji branch of the Rinzai school. The famous daimyo Takeda Shingen (武田 信玄) is buried here.

It is quite surprising that you only see a few visitors in the temple, given its importance, size and beauty. There is a small dry landscape garden and a big pond garden. Especially the pond garden is impressive. The temple also features a nightingale floor whose wooden boards squeak, when a person (or ninja) tries to sneak up to the building.
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Contents:
  • Introduction
  • The monk and the garden
  • Cold fire and spiritual enlightenment
  • Architectural features of the temple
  • The Zen garden


10 pages, packed with
42 great Japanese garden pictures
in 14 MB
The eBook is delivered as PDF.

Feel free to pin these pictures to your Pinterest board:

Directions

How to get there
From Shinjuku station, take the JR Chuo Line (中央線) to Enzan Station (塩山駅). With the Rapid train, this takes about 1hour and 25 minutes. From there take the bus and get off at the bus stop called “Erin-ji”.

Telephone
0553-33-3011

Address
2280 Oyashiki Enzan , Koshu City 404-0053

Admission
300 Yen

Opening hours
8:30am – 4:30pm

Customer’s Voice

I’d never heard of Erin-ji before I read this ebook. The pictures are stunning and I’m surprised the garden and temple are not more widely known because they look absolutely gorgeous! The book also had the perfect amount of history – enough to give you an understanding, but not so much that you felt overwhelmed. Gorgeous book and looking forward to reading more..and going to Erin-ji sometime, of course!

N.R.

Adachi Museum of Art  (足立美術館)

Adachi Zenko, a textile wholesaler from Shimane prefecture, opened the museum with its gardens in 1980. At this time he was already 71 years old. Adachi Zenko loved Japanese paintings and gardens since his youth. At the time he could afford it, he started to collect wonderful works of Japanese painters. When he decided to open a museum, it was an easy decision where: back in his hometown to show respect and gratitude.

There are several gardens around the museum. The main garden is the Dry Landscape Garden, but we can also find the Moss Garden, the Tea Garden, the Pond Garden, which is the oldest garden on the grounds, and the White Gravel and Pine garden, a tribute to works of Yokoyama Taikan.

The eBook about this garden was published with the support of the Adachi Museum of Art.

Content:
  • Introduction
  • Adachi Zenko
  • The six gardens of the Museum
  •   – The Reception Garden
  •   – The Moss Garden
  •   – The Tea Garden
  •   – The Dry Landscape Garden
  •   – The Pond Garden
  •   – The White Gravel and Pine Garden
  • Exhibitions in the main building and annex
  • Cafes and Restaurants
  • The gardener’s work – Anika’s Impressions
  • Opening hours and access
  • Around the Adachi Museum of Art


14 pages full of information about the Adachi Museum of Art
28 pictures of the gardens

PDF 13MB
The eBook is delivered as PDF.

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Watch the Adachi Museum of Art video here.

Directions

Address
EN: 320 Furukawa-cho, Yasugi, Shimane, 692-0064, JAPAN
JP: 〒692‐0064 島根県安来市古川町320

How to get there
The museum lies in a rural part of Japan in the Shimane prefecture.
From JR Okayama Station or Yonago or Izumo Airport take a JR train to Yasugi Station.
There is a free Shuttle Bus leaving every 20 min for the Adachi Museum of Art.

Opening times
April – September: 9:00 – 17:30
October – March: 9:00 – 17:00
Annex will close every other month for two days to change the exhibits.

Admission
2.300 Yen

Ōbai-in (Daitoku-ji)(黄梅院)

Ōbai-in is one of the secret sub-temples of Daitoku-ji and has one of Japan’s best-designed garden. It is only open for a few weeks in November, which is also the best time for visiting.

The temple was founded in 1562 as Ōbai-an (黄梅庵). Tea master and garden designer Sen no Rikyu (at that time 62 years old) is said to have designed the moss-covered garden. It features a Sanzonseki (stone arrangement in form of a Buddhist triad) and a small pond in the shape of a gourd. There is also an unusually shaped lantern brought by daimyo Kato Kiyomasa from his infamous campaign against Korea.

The Kuri is one of the oldest in Japan, and the paintings on the sliding doors (“Seven sages of the bamboo grove”, painted by Unkoku Togan) have survived from the 16th century until today.

Sen no Rikyu is said to have conducted tea ceremonies in one of the tea rooms of the Shoin (study) called Sakumuken (The dream of last night).

If you have a chance to visit this temple in November, make every effort to do so as it has one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan.


Contents of the book

 

Introduction
Daitoku-ji
History of Ōbai-in
Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi

Buildings
Hondō
(Fusuma-e)
Shoin
Kuri
Shōro
Kōshin-in
Graves

Teahouses
Fudo-ken
Sakumu-ken
Kōshun-an
Isshi-an

Gates
Karamon
Omotemon

Gardens
Entry garden
Sabutsu-tei
Kanza-tei
Jikichu-tei
Hatō-tei

Anika’s Impressions
Recommendations around Obai-in
How to get there

12 pages
19 pictures of the temple and gardens
10MB

The eBook is delivered as PDF.


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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

600 Yen

(Discount-ticket in combination with Kōrin-in is available.)

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

Opening hours

Open only in late November/ early December, and in spring, between 9am-4.30pm

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.

Ninna-ji  (仁和寺)

Ninna-ji is one of Kyoto’s oldest temples. It was founded in 888 (Heian period) by emperor Oda. From that time on until the end of the Edo period (1603-1868), the position of the temple’s head priest was always held by a son of a reigning emperor. Naturally, the temple was the center of the tennō’s supporters, but lost influence under the ruling of the Muromachi shogunate in the Muromachi period.

It burned down completely during the Ōnin war, but was rebuilt between 1641 and 1646. The garden in front of the Shinden was rebuilt in 1914. It has a pond and can be viewed from the veranda. The buildings are all connected with covered walkways that are characteristic for Shinden style architecture, the architecture of palaces and aristocratic residences in the Heian period (794-1185).

Although Ninna-ji is really close to tourist magnets like Ryoan-ji and Myoshin-ji, it has significantly less visitors. The buildings and gardens are well-maintained and some superior artwork is on display on the sliding doors in the study room.

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Directions

How to get there
Kyoto, Ukyo-ku, Ouchi Omuro 33
Take the Kyoto city bus 8, 10, 26 or 59 to the stop Omuro-Ninna-ji and walk in northern direction.

Address
JP: 〒616−8092 京都府京都市右京区御室大内33
EN: 33 Omuroouchi,Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 〒616-8092

Admission
500 Yen

Opening hours
9am – 4.30pm (Dec – Feb)
9am – 5pm (Mar – Nov)

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

Hōsen-in  (宝泉院)

Hōsen-in is a sub-temple of Shorin-in. One of its highlights is the garden in front of a bamboo background, that is framed by the pillars of the tatami room like a painting.
A special delight is to sit in the tatami room and enjoy a bowl of green tea while looking at the garden.

A gloomy reminder of the many wars and battles in Japan’s history are the ceilings and floor boards of the temple. The wood is stained with blood. They have been imported from Fushimi castle, the site of a mass suicide in 1600. The boards of the castle have been given to different temple as a way to commemorate the soldiers who gave their lives.

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Directions

How to get there
From Kyoto station, take the Ohara line bus towards Ohara (大原). It takes a little more than 1 hour to get to Ohara. Hosen-in is behind Sanzen-ji, so just follow the other visitors to Sanzen-ji (600m to the east) and then walk further uphill (north) for 200 meters.

Opening times
9am – 5pm

Admission
800 yen including matcha tea and Japanese sweets

Address
京都市左京区大原勝林院町187
Kyoto-shi, Sakyo-ku, Ohara Shorin-in-cho 187

Shōden-ji  (正伝寺)

Shōden-ji is a small temple of the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism. It is tucked away in the mountains in northern Kyoto. The simple Zen garden in front of the Hojo has a great view on the sky and Mt. Hiei.

The garden is said to have been laid out by the famous garden designer and tea master Kobori Enshu in the Edo period (1603-1868), although there is few evidence of that. In the 1930s, the Japanese garden scholar Shigemori Mirei restored the garden that had been altered over the centuries.

The temple’s Hojo, the main hall, has been removed from the castle Fushimi-jo in 1653. In the castle, many samurai commited suicide (Seppuku) during the Sekigahara battle in the year 1600. The floor boards of the castle became the ceiling of the temple to pray for those who gave their lives in the battle. This kind of ceiling is called Chitenjo (血天井).

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Directions

How to get there
The easiest way to get to Shoden-ji is to take the Kyoto city bus number 9 towards Nishigamo Shako-mae (西賀茂車庫前).
Get off after 42 minutes at Jinkoin-mae (神光院前). From there, walk westward for about 750 meter.

Opening times
9am – 5pm

Admission
400 Yen

Address
北区西賀茂北鎮守庵町72
Kita-Ku, Nishigamo-Kitachinjuan-cho 72

Aoi-den and Kasui-en  (葵殿 佳水園)

Both gardens are now on the ground of the Westin Hotel Kyoto. Visitors can enter before sunset for free.
“Aoiden” was built by the garden master Ogawa Jihei (7th generation). It is a stroll garden that utilizes land features and enables the water from the Biwako River to drop into a waterfall basin 15 meters below. “Kasuien” was built by his eldest son Hakuyo.

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Directions

How to get there
Take Kyoto city bus number 5 from Kyoto station towards Yagura-soshajo-mae (岩倉操車場前). After 11 stops and around 30 minutes, get off at Jingu-dori (神宮道). After getting off the bus, walk 5 minutes in direction of traffic.

Address
京都市東山区三条けあげ
Kyoto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Keage, Sanjo

Kennin-ji   (建仁寺)

Kennin-ji was built in 1202 and is Kyoto’s eldest Zen temple. It belongs to Kyoto’s Five Great Zen Temples after the Mountain system (Gozan – 号山).

There are two zen gardens: The Chou-on-tei,“The garden of the sound of the tide”, which has a San-zon-seki, a Buddhist triad stone arrangement and a Zenzen-seki for Sitting in Zazen meditation. The other garden is called “Circle-Triangle-Square” garden. The idea behind the“circle, triangle, square”is that all things in this universe can be represented by these forms.

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Directions

How to get there
Take the Kyoto city bus 4 from Kyoto station to Shijo-Kawaramachi-cho (四条河原町), it should take around 15 minutes. From there, got east over the Gion bridge. On the other side of the river, turn right and walk until you get to the next bridge. There, turn left and follow the street for 200 meters until you get to the entrance of Kennin-ji.

Opening times
March – October: 10am-5pm (last entrance 30 minutes earlier)
November – February: 10am-4:30pm (last entrance 30 minutes earlier)

Closed between December 28th and 31st

Admission
500 yen