Appreciate a garden created by a genius of the art in an old shrine enshrining a god of wine
The shrine is at the foot of Mount Matsunoo, which has been worshipped as a sacred mountain. Oyamakui-no-kami, an ancient god of large mountains, was worshipped as the god of the place. It is said that Matsunoo Taisha shrine was built to enshrine the god in 701 by the Hata family, a strong local family originally from Korea. Because the Hata family introduced a new sake brewing technique to Japan, the god is worshiped also as the god of brewing.
The area is a scenic zones designated to preserve natural beauty, in which building enlargement, tree pruning, etc. are restricted to maintain the beauty of the townscape. Matunoo Taisha is a part of the beautiful landscape in harmony with the surrounding natural scenery.
Highly-reputed beautiful gardens on the grounds are relatively new (completed in 1975) They are named the "Three Shofuen Gardens": "Joko-no-niwa," expressing an alter made of rocks near the peak of the mountain; "Kyokusui-no-niwa," recreating an entertainment garden for aristocrats during the 8th to 12th century, and; "Horai-no-niwa," with a phoenix-shaped pond representing the Showa Period. The gardens constructed using 100 million yen are the last works of Mirei Shigemori, a genius of modern landscaping, are must-see works of art.
Address: 3 Arashiyamamiya-machi, Kyoto Nishi-ku, Kyoto
Hours open to visitors: 5:00-18:00 (9:00-16:00 for the garden)
Admission Fee: Free admission to the grounds (500 yen to the gardens)
Directions: 3-minute walk from Matsuo Station on the Hankyu Arashiyama Line (25 minutes from Kyoto Station). (Car) 30 minutes from Kyoto-minami Interchange on the Meishin Expressway (car parking available).