Daisen-in Shoin Temple Garden

Kyoto, Kansai

An outstanding Japanese garden located in the compound of one of the most important Zen temples. Feel the spirit of Zen through a walk in the famous garden.

Daisen-in, located inside the Daitoku-ji temple precincts, is one of the oldest buildings of the Zen sect of Buddhism. Zen is famous for the practice of “zazen” or religious meditation. Daisen-in Shoin Temple Garden in the compound is a stone-and-sand type of garden called Karesansui, which expresses the flow of water from the mountains to the sea using only stones, sand, trees and plants, and no water.

The narrow space on the east side of the study, with stonework consisting of many stones of various sizes, symbolizes a natural environment of steep mountains and deep valleys. This is a typical Japanese representation of nature. On the south side of a corridor connecting the study and the temple kitchen is a sand bar, which by itself symbolizes a torrent rushing into the great ocean. The garden has been designated a special scenic site and historic site by the Japanese government.

And the Temple itself is not unworthy of responding. Its abbots chamber, which is the main hall, is designated as a National Treasure. The interior of this building is decorated with sliding screen door paintings done in Chinese monochrome style by Kano Motonobu, including paintings of natural scenes depicting flowers and birds. These paintings are designated by the national government as Important Cultural Properties.


54-1 Murasakino-Daitokuji-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Admission Fee
400 yen
Open throughout the year
[Rail]JR Kyoto Stn./Subway Karasuma Line/20 min./Kitaoji Stn./15 min.walk[Bus]JR Kyoto Stn./Bus/40-min. ride/Daitokuji-mae Stop/5-min. walk

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