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Shosei-en Garden

Certificate of Excellence
As featured in Guide to Kyoto Outdoors
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Address: Higashitamamizucho Shimojuzuyamachidori Ainomachi Higashi Iru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8190, Kyoto Prefecture
Name/address in local language
Phone Number:
+81 75-371-9210

This is the detached garden of Higashi Honganji, which was donated by...

This is the detached garden of Higashi Honganji, which was donated by Tokugawa Iemitsu, the 3rd shōgun, in 1641. It covers an area of about 33,000 square meters (8 acres) and was designed by Jōzan Ishikawa. The various structures in this garden were destroyed twice by fire in 1858 and 1864 and the present construction took place during the Meiji period. This garden is filled with many kinds of flowers throughout the year, and the colorful scenery is highly appreciated. Currently, Ingetsu-chi Pond in Shōsei-en Garden is undergoing renovation so we lower water levels in the pond from January 1, 2017 to March 25, 2017. Thank you very much for your understanding and cooperation.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 142 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 25
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    Very good
  • 6
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This was a beautiful little stop off and wander before our train left for Hiroshima. Unfortunately the lake/pond had been drained for renovation, which meant we weren't able to... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
Adam K
Adelaide, Australia
via mobile
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142 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 56: English reviews
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
57 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This was a beautiful little stop off and wander before our train left for Hiroshima. Unfortunately the lake/pond had been drained for renovation, which meant we weren't able to see the complete beauty of the place. There is a 500Y charge each, which has been called an upkeep donation...

Thank Adam K
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2017 via mobile

Very central location, around 10min walk from Kyoto station. There's a small cover charge on entry of ¥300. The gardens are beautiful. They also provide a very high quality brochure on entry that has some great shots and information.

Thank Josh d
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 December 2016

This isolated garden is my favorite spot in all of Kyoto and I try my best to visit every time I come home for break. It's pretty isolated but accessible from Kyoto Station. I love how the scenery changes with season with different types of flowers blossoming. Some spots are most beautiful when the cherry blossoms are in its full... More 

Thank Makoto Y
Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
101 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2016

10 mins walk from Kyoto station, this was one of the loveliest gardens we saw in Japan. It has lots of views , bridges, and water. The leaves were just turning when we were there and a couple were having photos taken on the covered bridge. Very peaceful, easily accessible and doesn't have to take up a huge amount of... More 

Thank hollowa2016
Level Contributor
112 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 November 2016

This garden is quite beautiful and amazingly close to the Kyoto terminal. There are several gardens, a central pond, and multiple amazing photo op locations! FYI, there is a small admission fee for the garden upkeep.

Thank Kyle H
Hexham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
272 reviews
155 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2016

This is a very beautiful garden and when we visited we were the only visitors at first. As mentioned the guide book as part of the reasonable entrance fee is glossy and very professional. It had started to drizzle, but it was still well worth the walk around to see. We liked the fact that it was not over-manicured and... More 

Thank PASP123
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2016

Very beautiful, peaceful garden. Well worth the visit. We sa3w just as leaves were beginning to change and can imagine it is even more beautiful once the leaves are fully turned.

Thank Omne007
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
94 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2016

We went on the recommendation of a local, and were pleasantly surprised by this garden. It's a little rougher than other gardens in Kyoto, but much, much less choked with tourists. It's really a very pretty little walk and they give you a great glossy brochure when you pay to get in, so it's a nice souvenir if you're into... More 

Thank mcp49
Linkoping, Sweden
Level Contributor
35 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2016

This is a very beautiful garden in the very center of Kyoto. It started to rain when we were there. On our way out of the garden we saw a part which must have been designed to enjoy when it rains. The part I'm thinking of is a small pond with big leafs in it. When the rain comes down,... More 

Thank fiskhumla
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2016 via mobile

We enjoyed the garden very much: ponds, bridges, tea houses. I wish it was a bit better taken care off: irrigate moss garden, pull weeds...

Thank Anna A

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Staying in Shimogyo-ku

Neighbourhood Profile
Shimogyo-ku is centered around the busy train hub, Kyoto Station. A nexus for commerce, shopping, dining, and hotels, the Shimogyo-ku area is infused with tourists and local business travelers, making it a competitive location for ever-new commercial structures. The shops and cafes here are chic and trendy, as a result, with many recognizable chains. Commuters flood the Shimogyo-ku area twice a day, and with Kyoto Station itself being a modern mega-complex and an architectural marvel, this neighborhood is one of the most contemporary and energetic areas that the city has to offer. Buildings here look futuristic, and huge department stores, shopping arcades, and public meeting spaces provide every possible convenience. It is also nearly the only place in Kyoto where rooftop dining and socializing is available, completing its modern tone.
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