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
History of Ōbai-in
Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Recommendations around Obai-in
How to get there
19 pictures of the temple and gardens
The eBook is delivered as PDF.
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.
(Discount-ticket in combination with Kōrin-in is available.)
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
Open only in late November/ early December, and in spring, between 9am-4.30pm