Shinnyo-do Temple

Shinnyo-do, or as it is officially named, Shinshogokuraku-Ji or the”true temple of paradise”, is a Buddhist temple of the Tendai sect located in the east of Kyoto. Being off the tourist’s beaten tracks, Shinnyo-do is a great spot to enjoy beautiful fall colors in a quiet, beautiful, and contemplative atmosphere. Its spacious grounds encompass multiple buildings, including a three-storied pagoda. Most of the temple grounds are free to enter, but a fee is required to enter the inner chamber of the main hall and the gardens.

One can easily walk there from Heian-Jingu Shrine or the Philosopher’s Path. 

The gardens

Nehan no niwa (“Nirvana Garden”) where the stones represent the last moments of Buddha surrounded by his disciples. This garden, using the “shakkei” concept, borrows its background view from the “daimonji” corner of the Higashiyama mountain.

Nehan no niwa ("Nirvana Garden")
Zuien no niwa is a modern dry garden

Zuien no niwa is a contemporary dry garden arranged in 2010, that reproduces a Japanese family crest with geometrically arranged stone patterns.  It’s quite unusual and is a very pictorial combination of stones with interesting use of gravels of various colors.

Click on the photos below for a full screen display. 

Unryû-In Temple

Google Map:

Adresse: 82 Shinnyo-cho, Jyodoji, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto

Phone: 075-771-0915 

Hours: Every day from 9 am to 4 pm

Price: Inner chamber and gardens: 500 yen (more during peak seasons)
Rest of temple grounds: free

How to go there:

By bus — n°5 – Stop at “Shinnyo-do-mae” then 10 minutes’ walk

By taxi — Just ask “Shinnyo-do”

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