Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

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  • Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Shosei-en Garden In Kyoto

  • Map of Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Shosei-en Garden Map

  • Takaishigaki Stone Wall Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Takaishigaki Stone Wall Shosei-en Garden

  • Entrance Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Entrance Shosei-en Garden In Kyoto

  • Entrance Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Entrance Shosei-en Garden In Kyoto

  • Cherry Blossom Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Cherry Blossom Shosei-en Garden

  • Rinchi-tei and Tekisui-ken Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Rinchi-tei (left) And Tekisui-ken (right) Shosei-en Garden

  • Pond infront of Rinchi-tei Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Pond Infront of Rinchi-tei Shosei-en Garden

  • Tairitsu-seki (Tea Ceremony House) Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Tairitsu-seki (Tea Ceremony House) Shosei-en Garden

  • Boka-kaku Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Boka-kaku Shosei-en Garden

  • Boka-kaku Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Boka-kaku Shosei-en Garden

  • Shinsetsu-kyo Bridge Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Shinsetsu-kyo Bridge Shosei-en Garden

  • Old Trees Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Old Trees Shosei-en Garden

  • Shukuen-tei (Tea Ceremony House) Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Shukuen-tei (Tea Ceremony House) Shosei-en Garden

  • Shukuen-tei (Tea Ceremony House) Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Shukuen-tei (Tea Ceremony House) Shosei-en Garden

  • Shukuen-tei (Tea Ceremony House) Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Shukuen-tei (Tea Ceremony House) Shosei-en Garden

  • Shukuen-tei (Tea Ceremony House) Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Shukuen-tei (Tea Ceremony House) Shosei-en Garden

  • Kaito-ro (Covered Bridge) Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Kaito-ro (Covered Bridge) Shosei-en Garden

  • Kaito-ro (Covered Bridge) Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Kaito-ro (Covered Bridge) Shosei-en Garden

  • Nine-story Stone Pagoda Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Nine-story Stone Pagoda Shosei-en Garden

  • Sochinkyo (Tea Ceremony House) Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Sochinkyo (Tea Ceremony House) Shosei-en Garden

  • Rofu-tei Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Rofu-tei Shosei-en Garden

  • Rofu-tei Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Rofu-tei Shosei-en Garden

  • Rofu-tei Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Rofu-tei Shosei-en Garden

  • Stone Bridge Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Stone Bridge Shosei-en Garden

  • Woman Wearing Kimonos Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Woman Wearing Kimonos Shosei-en Garden

  • Ingetsu-Chi Pond Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Ingetsu-Chi Pond Shosei-en Garden

  • Roan Teahouse Gate Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Roan Teahouse Gate Shosei-en Garden

  • Roan Teahouse Gate Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Roan Teahouse Shosei-en Garden

  • Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Shosei-en Garden

  • Ogenkan Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Ogenkan Shosei-en Garden

  • Ogenkan Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Ogenkan Shosei-en Garden

  • Shiogama Shosei-en Garden in Kyoto

    Shiogama Shosei-en Garden

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Facts & Figures

Shosei-en Garden is a beautiful traditional Japanese formal garden. Shosei-en is owned by the Higashi Honganji Temple. The garden is also known under the name Kikoku-tei (Trifoliate Orange Mansion). At the spacious garden grounds (about 33000 square meters) you can find a large pond at its centre, tea houses, stone lanterns, bridges, reception halls, cherry trees and much more. Best Ryokans in Kyoto Explore Ryokans in Kyoto
Ryokans are the perfect way to discover old Japanese culture and traditions.
It is one of the best spots in Kyoto to enjoy the beauty of cherry blossom season and the colorful leaves during autumn makes this place my must-see recommendation for you.

  • Shosei-en Garden:
  • Opening Hours - 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (last entry 3:30 pm, Nov till Feb)
  • Opening Hours - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (last entry 4:30 pm, Mar till Oct)
  • Closed - never, open the whole year
  • Admission Fee - 500 yen (Adults), 250 yen (High school students or younger)

History

In 1641 Shogun Iemitsu Tokugawa (1604 – 1651) donated the property to Higashi Hongan-ji Temple. It was planned as chief priest Sen'nyo's (1602 - 1658) retreat. Artist, aristocrat and tea master Kobori Enshu (1579 - 1647) and Jozan Ishikawa (1583 - 1672), a famous Confucian scholar, garden designer and friend of chief priest Sen'nyo, helped designing the garden. In 1657 the construction of Shosei-en Garden was completed. During civil riots (1858 and 1864) the garden was two times completely destroyed by fire. The area in its current form was rebuilt during the late 1860´s. In 1938 the place got the status of an National Historic Site by the Japanese government.

Location

Map of Japan

Shosei-en Garden is located northeast of Kyoto Station and about 200 meters east of Higashi Hongan-ji Temple.
Address: 300 Higashi-Tamamizu-cho, Simojyuzuyamachi-dori, Ainomachi-Higashiiru, Shimogyo-ku, 600-8190 Kyoto

How to get to Shosei-en Garden?

  • 10min walk from Kyoto Station

Sightseeing spots within Shosei-en Garden

Top:

Takaishigaki (High Stone Wall) - You will find this wall, made out of borrowed stones of all shapes and sizes, right after the western entrance.

Ingetsu-Chi (Moon Crest Pond) - It is the main pond of the garden and spans over one sixth of the garden grounds. The name - Moon Crest Pond - is related to the reflection of the moon in the water surface at night. Do not miss the beautiful koi´s in the water during your visit.

Boka-kaku (Ceremonial Gate) - The gate was rebuilt in 1892. It has a unique shape with two stairs on the side leading to the second floor. On the ceiling of the second floor are twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac engraved. Unfortunately Boka-kaku is not open for the public.

Rofu-tei Building/Studio - The guest house is dating back to 1865, which makes it one of the oldest in the garden. It was used to host very important guests from the upper-class in Tokyo, Russian diplomats and in 1880 even Emporer Meiji (1852 - 1912) stayed at this place.

Onrin-do Hall - It is the main hall within an complex of buildings and was rebuilt in 1957. Inside you will find a Buddha statue and fusuma-e (paintings on a sliding screen) by famous woodblock artist Shiko Munakata (1903 - 1975).

Kaitoro (Chinese-corridor style Bridge) - After the fire in 1858 it took till 1884 before the bridge with its cypress bark roof was rebuilt in a new design.

Boka-kaku - The pavilion was built in 1892 during the Meiji period. The 2-storey structure has a unique shape. The word Boka stands for - by the side of flowers.

Minamoto-no-Toru Pagoda - The nine-story stone pagoda was created to honor Minamoto no Toru (822 – 895), a historical figure and son of Emperor Saga.

Shinsetsu-kyō (Snow-capped Bridge) - The arched wooden bridge is connecting the large Kita-Oashima Island within the pond and the rest of the garden.

Kita-Oashima Island - The large island was constructed with the leftover material of Odoi. Odoi was a huge wall created by Hideyoshi Toyotomi (1837 - 1598) to defend Kyoto against attacks.

4 Tea Houses - They are called Shukuen-tei (rebuilt in 1884), Tairitsu-seki (rebuilt in 1888), Sochin-kyo and Ro-an (rebuilt in 1957). All of them are worth a visit.

Reception Halls - Tekisui-ken and Rinch-tei Reception Halls were both constructed in 1884. They are only separated from each other by a small pond. The halls serve as tea rooms for visitors.

Souchinkyo - This wooden building was constructed in 1865.

Festival & Events in Kyoto (dates can change without notice)

April

Miyako Odori (1st - 31th)
The traditional annual spring dance of the Kyoto district Gion Kobu performed by Geiko and Maiko is a must-see on your Kyoto visit. Don't miss the most popular dances the Miyako Odori "Cherry Blossom Dances" or "Dances of the Old Capital" at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater (located close to Gion Corner).

May

Aoi Matsuri (15th)
The highlight of this festival is a large parade from Imperial Palace through Shimogamo Shrine to the Kamo Shrines. More than 500 people wearing aristocratic costumes from the Heian Period (794 - 1185). The Aoi Matsuri belongs with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri to the three most famous festivals in Kyoto.

July

Gion Matsuri (whole month)
The month July is full of different events like the Yoiyama - Kyoto's Magical Night (locals in kimonos look at the giant Gion floats the day before the parade) or the famous Yamaboko Junko (float procession on the 17th of July).

October

Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of Ages") (22nd)
People celebrate with a large parade between Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. App. 2000 participants wearing historical costumes from different time periods. Enjoy this great festival which last around 2 hours.

My 100 Best Moments in Japan

Train ride from Osaka to Kyoto

I am visiting Japan nearly every year since 2004. This is my collection of the 100 best moments in my favourite country. Enjoy the pictures and I hope you will start your own journey soon.
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