Shoren-in Temple (Shoren-in Monzeki)

Shoren-in Temple (Shoren-in Monzeki)

Shoren-in Temple (Shoren-in Monzeki)
4.5
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
About
Shoren-in temple is one of the five Monzeki temples of the Tendai sect in Kyoto; the head priests at these temples originally belonged to the imperial family. The atmosphere at the temple is solemn and peaceful, similar to the ambiance of the Imperial Palace; this kind of an environment can only be found at Shoren-in temple. For all the abovementioned reasons and more, make sure to visit Shoren-in temple when visiting Higashiyama in Kyoto. Further, we recommend a visit to Shogunzuka Dainichi temple, which is an isolated structure within Shorenin temple estate. In Shogunzuka Dainichi-do temple compound, there are two observatories that offer visitors a view of the entire city of Kyoto; there is also a garden that boasts of the natural beauty of the four seasons.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles782 reviews
Excellent
493
Very good
223
Average
53
Poor
9
Terrible
4

carloscharmy
Bangkok, Thailand780 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
Shoren-in Temple is a captivating Kyoto gem! The fusuma adorned with peacocks and cranes create a breathtaking ambiance. Majestic camphor trees stand tall, adding to the serenity. The lovely garden, a masterpiece of tranquility, enchants with every step. A truly mesmerizing experience, immersing visitors in the essence of Japanese art and nature.
Written 21 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ted C
La Mesa, CA190 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Couples
My wife wanted to go to some of the Higashiyama temples Chion-in in particular(big but not beautiful) and thence to Yasaka Shrine (full of Chinese tourists)and the Gion (a mob scene best avoided. So we took the subway from our hotel to the Higashiyama Stop. Came to the surface and walked about 200 meters to the stoplight and turned right. From here you can see the great concrete torii of the Heian Shrine (best avoided). Perhaps two blocks further you will see on your left the entrance to a temple leading throuh a parking area to an entrance..

TAKE IT!

This leads to Shoren-in Temple, originally built to house the 7th son (probably illegitimate) as at that time the Emperor's only function was to produce a male heir, from his wife or a concubine, or in the worst case a chamber maid. Gotta do your duty you know.

It is a lovely small temple of the Tendai Sect, there is a very nice garden, many rooms what you can pass through. The fusama (sliding doors) are painted with contemporary scenes of lotus leaves and flowers. Yes, this is not "traditional" Kyoto, but remember the "famous screens and fusuma you will see elsewhere were contemporary once. I found them charming but I grant it is a matter of taste.

There is NO PARKING for buses, there is NO PARKING for cars hence there are no crowds. this is a biggie even if the temple itself were not so charming.

Is it my favorite temple in Kyoto no, but in its low key way it ranks with the best.

Oh, and if you insist on the Chion-in, Yasaka Jinji,Kennin-ji, Gion tourist route you can easily do them on foot after you experience what a real temple should be. I did and I am 78 with a quad by pass and 7 stents.
Written 29 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Trent R
Lakewood, OH73 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Couples
This was far and away my favorite so far of all the wonderful temples and shrines Kyoto has to offer. Less crowded than many of the larger and more popular temples Shoren-in offers one of the best gardens in Kyoto and the peace in which to enjoy it.

I would have been happy to sit on the tatami, listen to the water, and look out on the gardens all morning. I cannot wait for my next visit to Kyoto so I may visit again.
Written 1 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Erkki N
Finland884 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
Shoren-in has a stroll garden you can also view from the temple veranda. One side of the garden has a pond with islands and a miniature stone pagoda in the background, while other only has a moss-covered field and ancient, huge trees. A special feature of the temple is the colourful curtains veiling one of the halls. Competition between temples is hard in Kyoto, to be honest I could probably pass this one.
Written 9 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cpccat
Sydney, Australia155 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2016 • Family
This temple doesn't feature much in the tourist guides which is probably why it's so special. The guidebooks rave about Chion-in which is definitely impressive and Tenryu-Ji and the bamboo forest (which would be magical if it wasn't so crowded) but if you want to experience a truly serene Buddhist temple without crowds, tourist shops, coach tours and hundreds of people taking selfies, then make this temple a priority. There are four pavilions, the first has a marvellous collection of old style Japanese portraits, the others have beautiful praying areas,. It's set in a lovel garden with a stream with carp and it has its own small bamboo forest. We almost decided to walk past it in favour of Chion -in but we're so impressed we spent well over an hour and a half walking around and sitting in quiet contemplation in the temple buildings and the garden.

We then continued the days excursion through Maruyama-koen, a delightful park full of interesting characters (lots of women and couples dressed in tradional Japanese clothes) and pretty gardens then to Ishibel-koji which Is one of the most beautiful streets we've seen in Japan. It does get crowded as it has an amazing array of little shops and restaurants but it's very traditional in style and has none of the craziness of the main shopping streets either in Tokyo or Kyoto.
Written 6 January 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alex W
Singapore, Singapore1,426 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Solo
I'm not sure why the title of this page says 'temple' because (from what I've read) Shoren-in was never a temple in the usual sense. It's more a villa for chief priests, etc. Consequently, it is vastly different from the massive or sprawling temples that dot Kyoto and its surrounding areas. Shoren-in, while not small, comes across as much more personal and intimate than those public temples with impressively scaled halls. So it was a good change of pace to come here from nearby Chion-in (a huge temple).

Shoren-in has four pavilions, beautifully decorated in classic Japanese style surrounded by a remarkably varied garden.

The garden includes a hillside, and trees, plants, boulders and water have been artfully organised to provide harmony and contrast at the same time. There's even a section that is all bamboo, and another, nearer the house, that is more like a lawn.

Precious!

Entry was 500 yen. Shoren-in is an easy 400m walk from Higashiyama metro station on the East-West (Tozai) line. Would be good to pair it with a visit to Chion-in, only 300 to 400m away, and also for contrast.
Written 20 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

instalaus
19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2016 • Solo
I can't believe this isn't #1 thing to do in Kyoto! Tucked away in the back streets, this temple is such a gem. It's a break from the loud noises and you can't help but feel extremely zen right from the get go. This is by far my favourite temple of all of Kyoto! Go here... You will not regret it!!!
Written 14 January 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

angmohgao
United States473 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2019 • Family
For some reason the tour groups skip this place. It's the former home of the emperor. Really important and beautiful place. Take time to relax and enjoy it.
Written 15 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hristina
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Couples
We were there by night and the temple was illuminated. It looked like a place from a tail, both the temple and the garden.
We came back during the day to see it again and we were not disappointed - beautiful screens and even more beautiful ukiyo-e. Must see.
Written 1 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

edward g
United Kingdom12 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2018 • Solo
perhaps not the most spectacular garden in Kyoto, but I went on opening (09.30) and there were herons and cranes in abundance, which made it just that little bit special.
Written 21 May 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Shoren-in Temple (Shoren-in Monzeki), Kyoto

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