Shōren-in(青蓮院)

Shōren-in is one of the five Monzeki temples of the Tendai sect located in Kyoto.

Since its sixth head priest Dokaku, until the Meiji period every head priest was a member of the imperial family.

This temple, founded in the late Heian period, has two famous Japanese gardens.
It is said that the main garden with the ryūjin no ike pond was built by Soami during the Muromachi period.
The other garden, kirishima no niwa, was created by Kobori Enshū during the Edo period.

Although it is well known among foreign and local tourists alike, on visiting it gives a tranquil feeling.

Contents of the eBook:
  • Introduction
  • History
  • Buildings
  • Gardens
  • Highlights
  • Anikas Impressions
  • Around Shōren-in

14 pages full of information about the temple
33 pictures of the gardens
PDF 18MB

The eBook is delivered as PDF.

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Directions

How to get there
10 min walk from Tozai Subway Line Higashiyama Station (東山駅) or Bus 206 to Chion-in mae (知恩院前)

Address
JP: 〒605-0035 京都府京都市,東山区粟田口三条坊町69−1

69-1 Awataguchi Sanjobo-cho Higashiyama-ku、Kyoto-shi

Admission
500 Yen

Opening hours
9am to 5pm
Gardens

Nezu Museum(根津美術館)

The Nezu museum is a private collection of Japanese and Asian art – from calligraphy to painting, ceramics, and textiles. The industrialist and president of the Tobu railway company, Nezu Kaichiro was an avid art collector.

The site of the museum and garden used to be his private residence, which he bought in 1906. After his death in 1940, his son founded the museum to preserve the collection. In World War II, however, the museum and gardens were severely destroyed.

The hilly garden has two ponds that are connected by small streams. Upon every turn of the numerous winding paths, you can see a new garden lantern, memorial stone, Buddha or Kan’non statue. The garden also has some well-preserved tea houses. Near the main building, you can find a modern cafe. The wide window front on three sides lets you enjoy the garden while having a light lunch or coffee and cake.

Contents of the eBook
  • Introduction
  • History
  • Buildings
  • Stone Works
  • Highlights
  • Anikas Impressions
  • Around the Nezu Museum


14 pages full of information about the Nezu Museum
41 pictures of the garden
PDF 17MB

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Nezu-Museum Trailer Watch the Nezu-Museum trailer here.

Directions

How to get there
The closest metro station is Omotesando. Chiyoda line, Ginza line and Hanzomon line stop here. Use exit 4 or 5 and walk down the small end of Omotesando towards south east. After 400m you should reach the museum.

Opening times
10am – 5pm (last entry 4:30pm)

Admission
1300 Yen for the general exhibition (previously purchased online)
1400 Yen for same-day tickets
Special exhibitions cost differently.
Garden only accessible after ticket purchase.

Address
JP: 東京都港区南青山6丁目5−1
EN: Tokyo-to, Minato-ku, Minami-Aoyama 6-chome 5-1
Gardens

Namikawa-ke(並河家)

Nowadays, the Namikawa residence is a museum of Cloisonné objects by the artist Namikawa. He used to live and work in this house. Because he became internationally successful after exhibiting at the World Fair in Paris in 1878 and 1889, he often had foreign guests staying at his house.

For that reason, he built the sliding doors higher than usual and also used a lot of glass instead of paper screens. The garden of the Namikawa-ke is rather small, but well maintained and beautiful.

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Directions

How to get there
From Kyoto station, take the city bus number 100 and get off after 7 stops at Higashiyama-Sanjo (東山三条).
Walk east for around 300 meters. After you cross the small stream, turn left and walk one block north. The museum should be on your left side.

Opening times
10am – 4:30pm
Temporarily closed until spring 2023

Admission
800 Yen

Address
東山区三条通北裏白川筋東入堀池町388
Higashiyama-Ku, Sanjo-dori, Urajiro-Kawasuji Horiike-cho 388
Gardens

Mukōjima-hyakka-en(向島百花園)

This garden was built by an antique dealer between 1804 and 1830.

The name of the garden means “a garden with a hundred flowers that bloom throughout the four seasons”, and the garden is indeed known for very beautiful flowering trees and shrubs.

At the time when the garden first opened, its main feature was 360 ume trees.

In later years, many different blooming flowers and plants mentioned in classic Chinese and Japanese works of literature and poetry were collected, enabling visitors to enjoy blooming flowers throughout the year.

The garden is the only surviving flower garden from the Edo Period. What is also special about it is that it was not built as a part of a residence.

Contents of the eBook:
  • Introduction
  • History
  • Highlights
  • Flower Highlights
  • Anikas Impressions
  • Around Mukōjima-hyakkaen

12 pages full of information about the Mukōjima-hyakkaen
20 pictures of the garden
PDF 14MB

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Directions

How to get there
The closest metro station is Higashi-Mukojima of the Tobu-Skytree-Line. From the station, head 500m east to get to the garden.

Opening times
9am – 5pm (last entrance at 4:30)

Closed around New Year between December 29th and January 3rd.

Admission
150 Yen

Address
JP: 東京都墨田区東向島三丁目
EN: Tokyo, Sumida-ku, Higashimukojima 3-18-3
Gardens

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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eBook    coming..

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
〒606-8312 京都府京都市左京区吉田上大路町34
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.
Gardens

Tonogayato Teien(殿ヶ谷戸庭園)

The Tonogayato Teien is a Japanese landscape garden, built between 1914 and 1916 (Taisho period) near Tokyo. It was built for the residence of the vice president of the Manchurian Railway company.

In 1929, the estate was bought by a member of the Iwasaki family. Nowadays, the garden is enjoyed by young and mid-aged people, and you will probably be the only foreign visitor there.

There is a tea house on the premises that can be rented for tea ceremonies. The garden is a mixture of Japanese and European strolling garden. It is just 20 minutes by train from Shinjuku Station but feels very remote from everyday life in metropolitan Tokyo.

Contents of the eBook:
  • Introduction
  • History
  • Buildings
  • The Gardens
  • Other Highlights
  • Anikas Impressions
  • Around Tonogayato Teien

15 pages full of information about the Tonogayato Garden
41 pictures of the gardens

PDF 20MB
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Directions

How to get there
From Shinjuku, take the Chuo line towards Kawaguchiko and get off at the fifth stop, Kokubunji (国分寺)。From there, it is only a short walk to the gardens.

Opening times
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Last entry until 4:30 p.m.

Admission
150 Yen

Address
JP: 東京都国分寺市南町二丁目
Tokyo-to, Kokubunji-shi, Minami-cho, 2 chome
Gardens

Kyū-Asakurake House(旧朝倉家住宅)

Shibuya is one of Tokyo’s liveliest district – and in its middle, you can find this calm residence from 1919. Asakura Torajiro, the chairman of the Tokyo council had built this house and its beautiful garden in Daikanyama.

Contents:
  • Introduction
  • History The Main Building Features of the MainBuilding The Storehouse The Garage The Gardens Garden Features Anikas Impressions Around the Asakura House

14 pages full of information about the Kyu-Asakura House
33 scenic pictures
12MB

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Directions

How to get there
The closest station is Daikanyama (代官山), a station of the Toyoko line (between Shibuya and Naka-meguro). Ebisu station (Yamanote line, Hibiya line) is also only a 10 minute walk away.

Opening times
March-October: 10am – 6pm (entry allowed until 5:30pm)
November-February: 10am – 4:30pm (entry allowed until 4pm)

Closed on Mondays and between December 29th and January 3rd.

Admission
100 Yen

Address
JP: 東京都渋谷区猿楽町29−20
EN: 29-20 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Telephone
03-3476-1021
Gardens

Kōsei-in  (廣誠院)

A small temple of the Rinzai school of Buddhism. The interior has wonderful Fusuma-e (screen paintings) and a view on the walled garden.Taking pictures is not allowed inside the temple, but the garden is definitely worth a visit.
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Directions

How to get there Take the Kyoto city bus 205 from Kyoto station and get off at the eighth bus stop Shiyakusho-mae (京都市役所前). It takes about 18 minutes.A faster alternative would be to take the Karasuma subway until Karasuma-oike (烏丸御池) and change to the Tozai line. After two stops, get off at Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae.From Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae, walk a block in northern direction, and after you have passed the Hotel Okura, turn right.Admission Only open in early November, the entrance fee is 800 Yen.

Kōsei-in(廣誠院)

A small temple of the Rinzai school of Buddhism. The interior has wonderful Fusuma-e (screen paintings) and a view on the walled garden.

Taking pictures is not allowed inside the temple, but the garden is definitely worth a visit.

Feel free to pin these pictures to your Pinterest board:

Directions

How to get there
Take the Kyoto city bus 205 from Kyoto station and get off at the eighth bus stop Shiyakusho-mae (京都市役所前). It takes about 18 minutes.

A faster alternative would be to take the Karasuma subway until Karasuma-oike (烏丸御池) and change to the Tozai line. After two stops, get off at Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae.

From Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae, walk a block in northern direction, and after you have passed the Hotel Okura, turn right.

Admission
May only open in early November, the entrance fee is 800 Yen.

Address:
JP: 〒604-0924 京都府京都市中京区河原町通二条下る一之船入町 東入538−1
EN: Kosei-in, 538-1 Ichinofunairicho, Nakagyō-ku, Kyōto, Präfektur Kyōto
Gardens

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
500 Yen
Gardens

Kōmyō-in (Tōfuku-ji)(光明院)

Kōmyō-in is one of Tofuku-ji temples sub-temples. It was founded in 1391 (Muromachi period) by Kinzan Myosho. In 1939, Shigemori Mirei laid out the dry landscape garden in front of the main building.

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Directions

How to get there
Take the Nara line from Kyoto station towards Nara. Get off at the first stop, Tōfuku-ji, and walk in southern direction until you get to Tōfuku-ji.

Opening times
7am – sunset

Admission
November: 300 yen
Rest of the year: donation

Address:
JP: 京都市東山区本町15丁目809
EN: 15 Chome-809 Honmachi, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0981
Gardens