Isuien Garden in Nara

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Domo arigato.
  • Nara Isuien Garden Sanshutei Pavilion

    Nara Isuien Garden Sanshutei Pavilion

  • Nara Isuien Garden Sanshutei Pavilion

    Nara Isuien Garden Sanshutei Pavilion

  • Pond in the Nara Isuien Garden

    Pond In The Nara Isuien Garden

  • Nara Isuien Garden

    Nara Isuien Garden

  • Path within the Nara Isuien Garden

    Path In The Nara Isuien Garden

  • Pond in the Nara Isuien Garden

    Pond In The Nara Isuien Garden

  • Pond in the Nara Isuien Garden

    Nara Isuien Garden

  • Path within the Nara Isuien Garden

    Path Through Isuien Garden Nara

  • Path within the Nara Isuien Garden

    Nara Isuien Garden

  • Moose in the Isuien Garden Nara

    Moose In The Isuien Garden Nara

  • Nara Isuien Garden

    Nara Isuien Garden

  • Stream in Isuien Garden Nara

    Stream In The Isuien Garden Nara

  • Water Wheel in the Isuien Garden Nara

    Water Wheel In The Isuien Garden Nara

  • Nara Isuien Garden

    Nara Isuien Garden

  • Tea House Isuien Garden in Nara

    Tea House Isuien Garden In Nara

  • Isuien Garden in Nara

    Isuien Garden in Nara

  • Tea House Isuien Garden in Nara

    Tea House Isuien Garden In Nara

  • Isuien Garden Information Board in Nara

    Isuien Garden Information Board In Nara

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Facts & Figures

Isuien Garden is a beautiful Japanese Garden in Nara and covers an area of 13481 square meter. It is the only promenade or walking garden (kaiyushiki teien) in the city. Isuien stands for "garden founded on water" and has the status of a Famous Scenic Spot of Japan. The strolling garden consists of two parts (front and back garden), which were created in two different time periods and later joined together. Best Ryokans in NaraExplore Ryokans in Nara
Ryokans are the perfect way to discover old Japanese culture and traditions.
You will find in the garden beautiful pagodas, three ponds, thatched tea houses, a wooden water mill and a small Inari Shrine. Isuien is the perfect example of the borrowed scenery style (shakkei). It uses the Todaiji Temple Nandaimon Gate, Mount Wakasayama, Mount Kasugaokuyama, and Mount Mikasayama in the background to visually extent the garden. The water source for the streams and ponds of the Isuien Garden is the Yoshikigawa River.

  • Isuien Garden:
  • Opening Hours - 9:30 am to 4:30 pm (until 5:00 pm April and May)
  • Closed - Tuesdays, Obon holidays, New Year Holidays
  • Admission Fee - 1200 yen (Adults), 500 yen (Students)

My tips for local activities

How about exploring the beautiful city Nara and its UNESCO World Heritage Sites with a local guide. Check out this page for more details.

History

Michikiyo Kiyosumi, a wealthy textile merchant, bought the front garden property during the Edo period (1603 - 1868) in 1670 (Kanbun era) and redesigned the place. In 1899, during the Meiji era (1868 - 1912), the rear part of the Isuien Garden was completed. The garden was designed by Yumyosai (head of Urasenke school) on behalf of Tojiro Seki, a rich merchant from Nara. In 1939 Jyunsaku Nakamura bought both properties and combined them. He was looking for a location for the Neiraku Museum.

Location

Map of Japan

Isuien Garden is located in central Nara within the Nara Park near Kofukuji, Todaiji Temple and Yoshikien Garden.
Address: 74 Suimon-cho, Nara, Nara Prefecture 630-8208

How to get to Isuien Garden?

  • 15min from Kintetsu Nara Station served by Nara and Kyoto Line
  • 10min from Kofukuji and Todaiji Temple
  • 5min from JR Nara Station by bus to Oshiagecho stop

Sightseeing spots of Isuien Garden

Top:

Sanshutei Tea house - During the 1670s Kiyosumi Dosei relocated this house to Isuien Garden as his secondary home. The view of the Front Garden is amazing and you should enjoy some snacks and green tea there.

Seishuan Tea house - The Seishuan Tea house is the exact replica of the famous Yuin Tea House, a important cultural property, created by the Urasenke family. It was built with the support of the great tea master Jikisho Genshitsu (Yumyosai).

Hyoshintei Tea house - The tea house was constructed in the early twentieth century. It was used for traditional tea ceremonies. Interesting to know that some of the construction material came from the Shin-Yakushi-ji Buddhist temples original wooden boards. From there enjoy the nice view of the Back Garden.

Teishuken Tea house - The tea house with its unique circular window is dating back to the 1670s. It was built by Kiyosumi Dosei. In the late 19th century some new features, like a nice terrace, were added to the structure by Seki Tojiro.

Yagyudo - This building was relocated from the Hotoku-ji Buddhist Temple in the beginning of the 20th century under the guidance of Seki Tojiro.

Garden scenery - This place is full of nicely designed walking paths, ponds, beautiful moss carpets and bonsais.

Neiraku Art Museum - Enjoy exhibitions of Japanese, Korean and Chinese ceramics.

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)

March

Omizutori Festival (1st - 14th)
This Japanese Buddhist festival dates back 1000 years. Priests at the Todaiji Temple perform rituals (called Shuni-e) for 14 days. They pray for world peace, rich harvest and confess their sins. A very special event during these 14 days is Otaimatsu. Priests running with huge pine torches through corridors of the Nigatsu-do Hall. It is said that if you get hit by these fire sparks no evil thing will harm you. Dont miss out the Omizutori ceremony on the 13th of March. Water is being collected by priests infront of the Todaiji Temple. It is believed this water has the power to cure diseases.

August

Toka-ye Lantern Festival (5th - 14th)
Thousands of candles are lit everywhere in Nara between 7:00 pm and 9:45 pm. Enjoy this special atmosphere in the Nara Park, temples and gardens.

My 100 Best Moments in Japan

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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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