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.

Feel free to pin these pictures to your Pinterest board:

  •  Click to view details
eBook coming…

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
Jan. 10 – Feb. 10: Closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays

Admission
500 Yen

Address
EN: 23, Yamada Kitanocho, Nishikyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 615-8285, Japan
JP: 〒615-8285 京都府京都市西京区山田北ノ町23

Telephone
075-391-3631

Gardens

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.
  •  Click to view details
eBook coming…

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
Gardens

Hōgon-in (Tenryū-ji)(宝厳院)

Hōgon-in is a sub-temple of Tenryū-ji temple and was first built in 1461 in the middle of Kyoto (now Kamigyo ward).
It burnt down during the Onin War and was rebuilt later. In Meiji period, it was moved to its present location in Arashiyama next to Tenryū-ji temple.
Hosokawa Yoriyuki had the temple wished to build by Muso Soseki. It was actually constructed by 3rd generation Seichūeikō after his death.

Feel free to pin these pictures to your Pinterest board:
  •  Click to view details
eBook coming…

Directions

How to get there
・Take the JR Saga Line (JR嵯峨野線) to Saga-Arashiyama Station (嵯峨嵐山駅) with 8min walk.
・Take Keifuku-Arashiyama Line (京福電気鉄道嵐山本線) to Arashiyama Station (嵐山) with 5min walk.
・Kyoto Bus (京都バス) Number 71 and 72 to Keifuku-Arashiyama Station (京福嵐山駅前).
・City Bus (市バス) Number 28 to Arashiyama-Tenryū-ji Mae (嵐山天龍寺前).

Follow the road to Tenryū-ji entrance, but go to the left over the parking lot before entering the temple.
Hōgon-in lies to the right side.

Opening times
9:00am – 5:00pm
Opens twice a year.

Admission fee
500 Yen

Address
京都府京都市右京区嵯峨天竜寺芒ノ馬場町36
Kyoto, Ukyo-ku, Saga-tenryu-ji-susukinobaba-cho 36
Gardens

Hasedera(長谷寺)

A mystical kannon statue, hydrangea at full bloom, a modern dry landscape garden. This is the Hasedera temple in Kamakura, the probably second oldest temple in the city, also simply known as Hase kannon. It is the 4th station of the thirty-three Kannon pilgrimage in the Kanto area.

The Hasedera temple is most famous for its eleven-headed Kannon statue, which is over 9 meters high. The temple is of the Jodo school of Buddhism and is said to have been founded in 736.

The Hasedera garden and Hojo-ike pond can be found just behind the temple entrance while it is advised to climb until the top of the mountain to have a stunning view over the ocean.

Contents
  • Introduction
  • History of the temple
  • Buildings
     -Kannon-dō
     -Amida-dō
     -Jizo-dō
     -Benten-dō/ Benten-kutsu
     -Daikoku-dō
     -Inari-sha
     -Kyōzō
     -Shoin
  • Gardens  -Go-en Garden
     -Mossy Pond Garden
     -Hojo Pond Garden
  • Plants in the Garden
  • The Kannon Museum
  • Events
  • Restaurants & Cafes
  • Anika’s Impressions
  • Access & Gerneral
  • Information
  • Around Hasedera

14 pages
31 pictures
17 MB
2019
The eBook is delivered as PDF.

Feel free to pin these pictures to your Pinterest board:

  •  Click to view details
Hasedera Video
Watch the Hasedera video here.

Directions

How to get there
You can take a bus or the train from Kamakura station to get to Hase.
Kamakura bus number 4 (鎌4) takes you to the Hase-Kannon (長谷観音) bus stop in 7 minutes.

If you prefer to go by train, take Enoshima-Dentetsu line and get off at the third stop Hase station (長谷). It should take only 5 minutes.

If you are visiting the Great Buddha (Daibutsu, at Kotoku-in) in Hase, the temple is just a 10 minute walk away.

Opening times
March – September: 8am – 5pm
Otober – February: 8am – 4:30pm

Admission
300 yen

Address
EN: 11-2, Hase 3-chome, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0016
JP: 〒248-0016 神奈川県鎌倉市長谷3丁目11−2
Gardens

Happō-en(八芳園)

Nowadays, the beautiful Happō-en gardens serve mainly as a backdrop for traditional Japanese wedding parties and banquets. There is a kaiseki restaurant overlooking the Japanese garden and a tea house where visitors can get a bowl of green tea and Japanese sweets.

The Japanese garden has been built in the early 17th century in the old Edo’s gentle hills, and a natural stream runs through it. In the early 1915, the industrialist Fusanosuke Kuhara (久原 房之助) remodeled the garden and built most of today’s buildings.

Most of the bonsai trees in the garden are over 100 years old, one of them is 520 years old. The Suichin (水停) is a waterside resting arbor that seems to float above the pond.

Contents:
  • History
  • Buildings
  • Restaurants & Chapels
  • The Gates
  • Stone Works
  • Other Highlights
  • Anika’s Impressions
  • How to get there
  • Around Happō-en

15 pages full of information about Happō-en
37 pictures of the garden

PDF 20MB

The eBook is delivered as PDF.

Feel free to pin these pictures to your Pinterest board:

Directions

How to get there
The closest station is Shirokane-dai (白金台). Namboku line and Mita line connect the station to the Yamanote ring line (Meguro station). In Shirokane-dai, take exit No. 2 to get to the garden.

Admission fee
No admission fee

Address
JP: 〒108-0071 東京都港区白金台1−1−1
EN: 〒108-0071 Tokyo, Minato-ku, Shirokanedai 1-1-1

Telephone
03-3443-3111
Gardens

Giō-ji(祇王寺)

This temple in Kyoto’s lovely Sagano district has a small moss garden. Surrounded by dense trees, it is a very quiet and relaxed place. In autumn, when the leaves change, it is especially beautiful.

The temple is also mentioned in the Japanese classic Heike Monogatari (Tale of the Heike). The dancer Gio retreated to this temple after a powerful leader of the Taira-clan ended the relationship with her. Wooden statues of her, her mother and sister and Taira-no-Kiyomori ass displayed in the temple.

Feel free to pin these pictures to your Pinterest board:

  •  Click to view details
eBook coming…

Directions

How to get there
From Kyoto station, take the JR Sanin Main line towards Sonobe (園部) from platform 32, 33. Get off after 16 minutes at the sixth stop Saga-arashiyama (峨嵐山).
If you prefer to go by bus, take the Kyoto city bus No. 28 or Kyoto bus No. 71 (for Daikaku-ji, 大覚寺) from Kyoto main station and get off after 50 minutes at Saga-Shakado-mae.

From there, walk about 20 minutes towards the west.

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

Admission
300 yen

Address
〒616-8435 京都府京都市右京区嵯峨鳥居本小坂町32
32 Kozakacho, Sagatoriimoto, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, 616-8435
Gardens

Funda-in (Tōfuku-ji)(芬陀院 東福寺)

Funda-in is a sub-temple of Tofuku-ji temple in Kyoto. It was built in 1321, in the Kamakura period, as a family temple for the Ichijo clan. In 1691, the buildings of the temple burnt down, but the temple was rebuilt soon after. There are two main gardens and a smaller garden in the temple. The ink painter and Zen monk Sesshu is said to have designed the southern Zen garden between 1460 and 1468. The temple is therefore also commonly called Sesshū-ji. In 1939, the modern garden master Shigemori Mirei restored the garden and added the eastern garden.

Despite its calm beauty and historical relevance, the temple is often overlooked by visitors on their way to the main temple or more famous sub-temples like Reiun-in or Ryogin-an. Chances are you can enjoy the temple all by yourself if you come on a weekday.

Content:
  • Introduction
  • History of the temple and garden
  • The architecture of the temple building
  • The south garden
  • The east garden
  • Personal impressions by the author (See free preview)
 14 pages with
44 pictures of one of Kyoto’s most beautiful secret gardens
The eBook is delivered as PDF.

Feel free to pin these pictures to your Pinterest board:

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. The temple is situated close to the Chumon gate of Tōfuku-ji.

Opening times
April – November: 9am – 5pm
December – March: 9am – 4pm

Admission
300 yen

Adress
〒605-0981 京都府京都市東山区本町15丁目803
〒605-0981 Kyoto-fu, Kyoto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Honmachi 15-803
Gardens

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.

  •  Click to view details
eBook coming…

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
April – November: 10am – 4:30pm
December – March: 10am – 4pm

Admission
500 yen

Address
京都市左京区岩倉幡枝町 389
389 Hataeda-cho Iwakura Sakyo-ku
Gardens

Engaku-ji(円覚寺)

Meet the charismatic regent Hōjō Tokimune and Zen master Mugaku Sogen and eavesdrop on their Zen conversations. Mongol invasions, Buddha’s tooth, and a forgotten Sutra roll – the founding story of Engaku-ji temple gives you a direct insight into the military and political challenges of the Kamakura period.

Engaku-ji temple is the second most important temple in the Kamakura Zen temple mountain system. It is situated in North Kamakura (Kita-Kamakura 北鎌倉). The Kita-Kamakura station is actually on the former temple grounds and the train line cuts off the temple entrance and pond from the main grounds. It used to have 40 sub-temples, nowadays there are 18. The temple was named after a Sutra roll (a copy of the Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment) that was found in a chest unearthed when the construction works on the temple began in 1277. Engaku means „Perfect Enlightenment“ (円覚, engaku).

Actually, the temple was planned to be built for the Chinese Zen master Lanxi Daolong. Unfortunately, he died before the temple could be finished. Instead, Hōjō Tokimune decided that Engaku-ji temple was devoted to the victims of the battles against the Mongol invasions in 1274 and 1281. Legend has it that white deer appeared on the temple grounds and listened to priest Sogen’s first sermon at the opening ceremony. This was interpreted as a good omen for the temple. Thus the temple received the mountain name ‘Auspicious Deer Mountain’ – Zuiroku-San (瑞鹿山). A mountain name (山号 – San-gō) is traditionally given to temples of the Zen school – one reason is to tell them apart easily, as some temples in different areas carry the same name.

Contents
  • Introduction
  • Historical background – Kamakura period
  • History of the temple
  • The temple and gardens
  • Jenny’s impressions
  • Eating and Drinking
  • How to get there
  • Literature

14 pages
56 illustrations
14.7 MB

The eBook is delivered as PDF.

Feel free to pin these pictures to your Pinterest board:

Directions

How to get there
By train
Yokusuka Line between Kamakura and Tokyo, Kita-Kamakura station.
The train stops directly in front of the temple. Another option is to take a long walk from Kamakura station to Kita-Kamakura.

Opening times
Apr – Oct 08:00 – 17:00
Nov – Mar 08:00 – 16:00

Entrance fee
300 Yen

Address
Yama-no-uchi 409, Kamakura
神奈川県鎌倉市山ノ内409
Gardens

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.

Feel free to pin these pictures to your Pinterest board:

  •  Click to view details
eBook coming…
Gardens

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 – 3:50pm (last admission)

Admission
300 Yen (Yūzen’en Garden)
400 Yen (Hōjō Garden)
500 Yen (both gardens)

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