Shosei-en Garden

From Kyoto station, Shosei-en Garden is only about 10 minutes walk. Our hotel was actually right next the garden, though from our window we could only see the high garden walls, which rapped around and surrounded the entire garden, so there was no way of seeing inside. Being right next to our hotel, we just had to take in a visit!                           

Shosei-en Garden 1

Shosei-en Garden 2

                                                                                                                              The garden is mainly divided up into three sections, the east side is more the garden, the west side being more building, and the south were the Ingetsu-chi pond is located. The north side is said to have had a waterway type well that fed the smaller ponds from the river which then fed the Ingetsu-chi pond, even today the Ingetsu-chi pond is still fed from the north well.                                                                               

Shosei-en Garden 4
Shosei-en Garden 6

Shosei-en Garden 7

                                                                                                                                From the Shosei-en garden and a busy day we then headed back to our hotel, after a quick freshen up we were back out for a meal! In total we walked 9.5 miles that day.                                                                              

Shosei-en Garden 9

Evening_Meal 1

Evening_Meal 2

 To get to the entrance we had walk around to the opposite side where it was tucked away on a side street, with the admission fee of only 500 yen each (£3). Walking through the entrance the garden just opened up, it was a lot bigger than it seemed from the outside! The garden was on a stroll design where you walk around the footpath that seem to guide you around the entire garden. The garden was beautiful with traditional villas, teahouses, ponds with islands and bridges. There are two ponds and the biggest Ingetsu-chi pond being the gardens main centrepiece and covering the whole southeast quadrant of the grounds. The garden was designed around this central pond with walking paths around it. Its name means “Moon Image Pond” and derives from the lovely reflection of the moon on the surface of the water. 

Shosei-en Garden 3

The garden was stunning and tranquil to walk around…its clever design means it’s easy to forgot that you’re in the middle of Kyoto’s more built up urban area! It was also very quiet with not many people around, which added to the peacefulness. 

Shosei-en Garden 5

The Shosei-en is the detached garden of the Higashi Honganji Temple which is close by, and has been the property of the temple since 1641 when the ruling Shogen, Tokugawa Iemitsu give the land to the temple, with the area being designed as a private study stroll garden by Ishikawa Jozan. The garden and buildings today were restored in the late 19th century. 

Shosei-en Garden 8
Shosei-en Garden 10

Please find our other Kyoto articles in the 'kyoto' section of the website.