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Shisen-do Jozanji Temple (詩仙堂)

Located in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, this was once the site of a mountain villa built by Edo period literati Ishikawa Jozan for his retirement. It is a nationally designated Historic Site. Today, it is a Soto Buddhist temple that is also called the Jozan-ji. Jozan had the Shisen-do built at the age of 59. For the remaining 30 some years of his life, this great man of letters devoted his time to poetry, calligraphy, and gardening, to the exclusion of even sleeping and eating. The Shisen-do preserves a great number of his works and calligraphy and, in addition to a standing exhibition, the temple a special three day exhibition starting from May 23 each year, the anniversary of Jozan’s death. The temple’s garden was designed by Jozan himself, a renowned gardener, and is particularly famous for its satsuki azaleas in spring and fall foliage in autumn. It is said that the first shishi-odoshi was created here. The shishi-odoshi is a bamboo tube balanced on a pivot which slowly fills with water until it tips over, draining the water and falling back into position with a “plonk” noise. Shishi-odoshi are practical – their sound scares away deer and wild boars that might eat garden plants – but their sound also accentuates the silence of a garden, and it is said Jozan loved the sound they made.


Kyoto Kyoutoshi Sakyou-ku Ichijoujimonguchichou 27 (Kurama / Kibune / OharaArea)

phone 0757812954


Review of Shisendo Temple

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
Reviewed:2020/08/08 Stroll garden of breathtaking beauty
The garden of Shisen-do is simply out of this world. I would rank it without hesitation to the top 5 of Kyoto gardens:not only has it an impeccable composition, it is also fundamentally different...
Reviewed:2019/12/15 Beautiful
We were lucky enough to be in Kyoto for the autumn leaves, so chose our sight seeing around this theme. We had come to Enkoji, the temple next door which is also fantastic and a must see, and...
Reviewed:2019/06/08 Go for the Azeleas
The main attraction of this temple seems to be in May, and I hit this one at the right time when the azeleas were in bloom. Take them away and the garden would be pretty ordinary - apart from the...

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Kyoto Kyoutoshi Sakyou-ku Ichijoujimonguchichou 27 [map]
Kurama / Kibune / OharaArea
[Admission fee to worship]
[Adult] 500yen
[High school student] 400yen
[Elementary and Junior High School Students] 200yen
Parking Lot
Not available
Credit Card
Not available
Not available
Not available
Estimated stay time
0-30 minutes

Information Sources:  NAVITIME JAPAN


          There is no Station nearby. There is no Bus Stop nearby. There is no Parking nearby. There is no IC nearby.
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          Kyoto Areas


          Its wooden tea houses, shuffling geisha, and spiritual sights have seen Kyoto hailed as the heart of traditional Japan, a world apart from ultramodern Tokyo. Despite being the Japanese capital for over a century, Kyoto escaped destruction during World War II, leaving behind a fascinating history which can be felt at every turn, from the fully gold-plated Kinkakuji Temple down to traditional customs such as geisha performances and tea ceremonies, which are still practiced to this day.