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

Hamarikyū Teien  (浜離宮恩賜庭園)

The Hamarikyū garden is a large strolling garden directly next to Tokyo bay. It was built by the shogun Tokugawa in the Edo period (1603-1868). The garden’s ponds are connected to the Tokyo bay so the water level of the ponds changed with the tide. Large parts of the garden were reed fields, and the southern garden was used by the Shogun’s family for falconry and duck hunting.

With the Meiji Restauration in 1868, the Tokugawa shogunate fell and the imperial family built a detached villa on the grounds of the garden. This is also where the garden’s name comes from – Hama (浜) means “beach”, “seashore”; and rikyū (離宮) means “detached palace”. Teien (庭園) is a word for “garden” or “park”.

The garden has meandering ponds interconnected by little streams. There is a tea house on the middle island (中島 – Nakashima) of the southern pond, a plum grove (visit in late February to March), a 300-year-old pine tree and a field of wildflowers (cosmea and rape flowers). It is a nice garden to take a long walk. Because the garden is large, you rarely meet other visitors.

A free audio guide in English is available at the ticket gates – it has several guided tours, but it also allows you to roam around freely and just gives you information when you come to an important part of the garden.

Contents:
  • Introduction
  • History
  • Buildings
  • Bridges
  • Mountains
  • Highlights
  • Flowers
  • Anikas Impressions
  • Around Hamarikyū garden


20 pages full of information about the Hamarikyū garden
38 pictures of the gardens

PDF 27MB

The eBook is delivered as PDF.

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Directions

How to get there
To get to Hamarikyu gardens, take the Yamanote line to Shinbashi (新橋駅) or the Oedo line to Shiodome(汐留駅)。Walk eastwards from there.
There is also the possibility to go by boat from Asakusa to the garden. But since the boat is quite low, often you don’t see more than the quay walls. The entrance fee to the garden is included in the fare.

Address
東京都中央区浜離宮庭園1-1
1-1 Hamarikyu Teien, Chuo, Tokyo

Telephone
03-3541-0200 ‎

Admission
300 Yen

Opening hours
9am – 5pm (last entry at 4:30pm)

Closed around New Year between December 29th and January 1st.

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).

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)

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

Shōsei-en (Kikoku-tei)  (渉成園)

Shōsei-en is a garden that belongs to Higashi-Hongan-ji, the big temple of the True Pure Land School of Buddhism just north of Kyoto station. The garden is said to have belonged to the residence of the son of tennō Saga and was built in the early Heian period (794-1185). The pond most likely remained from the original design. The garden we see today, was laid out in 1641 after the shogun Tokugawa donated the land to the Hongan-ji. The garden design was probably realized by the intellectual Ichikawa Jozan and artist, tea master and aristocrat Kobori Enshu,

The garden has a pond and some tea houses, cherry trees that are a visitor magnet in spring. It is just a few meters away from the hustle and bustle of Kyoto station. While you can still hear the cars and see some of the surrounding buildings, it is good to see that these beautiful places do exist in modern Kyoto.

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Directions

How to get there
Shōsei-en is not far from the Kyoto station. Take the north exit and walk one block north and then another block in eastern direction. It will take aproximately 7 minutes. You can also take the city bus number 5 to Kawaramachi Shomen.

Admission
500 Yen donation is recommended

Opening hours
9am – 4pm, last entry 3:30pm

Address
Kyoto-Shi, Shimogyo-Ku, Aidanocho-higashiiru, Shimojuzuyamachi-dori, Higashitamamizu-cho 300

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

Taizō-in (Myōshin-ji)  (退蔵院)

Taizo-in is a small Zen Buddhism temple located in northwestern Kyoto on the quiet and spacious grounds of Myoshin-ji. With its beautiful gardens and treasures of Japanese art, Taizo-in is the oldest and most famous sub-temples of the Myoshin-ji complex. It was founded in 1404 and the gardens are said to have been designed by the painter Kano Motonobu in the Muromachi period.

Taizo-in is open to receive and educate international visitors about Zen culture. Here you can experience Zen meditation, tea ceremony, calligraphy, and temple-stay with a friendly and dedicated staff.

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Directions

How to get there

Take the JR Sanin Main line from Kyoto station (platform 32 or 33) towards Sonobe (園部). After 11 minutes, get off at Hanazono station (花園). From there, walk back 500 meters in north-eastern direction to get to the Myoshin-ji temple complex.

Opening times
9am – 5pm

Admission
500 yen

Address
京都市右京区花園妙心寺町35
Kyoto-shi, Ukyo-ku, Hanazono Myoshin-ji-cho 35

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

Chion-in  (知恩院)

The Chion-in is the headquarters of the Jōdo-shū (Pure Land Sect of Buddhism) founded by priest Hōnen (1133–1212). The original temple was built in 1234 by Hōnen’s disciple, Genchi (1183–1238). It’s Sanmon is the oldest Mountain gate in its original form in Japan, it was built in 1619.

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Directions

How to get there
Take the Kyoto city bus 100 from Kyoto station. After 18 minutes and 6 stops, get off at Gion (祇園). From Gion, walk through Maruyama park (円山公園) until you get to the temple. It should take about 10 minutes.

Opening times
9am – 4:30pm

Admission
300 yen

Address
京都市東山区新橋通大和大路東入三丁目林下町400
Kyoto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Shinbashi-dori, Yamato-Oji-higashi, 3 chome, Rinka-cho 400