Basking in the Sun at Yuzen Garden, Chion-in

Date: 24th November 2017

It was a lovely and bright day, perfect for my last day in Kyoto for the Autumn 2017 trip. Thinking about it now, it was great that I had the chance to witness Kyoto in its autumn glory for an extended period of time since I will not be returning to this gorgeous city until after 2020.

Lovely autumn in Yuzen Garden, Chion-in

Chion-in (知恩院) is the headquarter temple of the Jodo-shu school of Buddhism, a branch of Pure Land Buddhism founded by Honen. Lets explore this temple in another post and look at the beautiful Yuzen Garden first.


Yuzen Garden (友禅苑) is just right beside the majestic Sanmon Gate, and being a garden-lover, I could not help but to enter this garden first, before heading to the main Chion-in precincts. Do note that though the temple is free-admission, the gardens including Hojo Garden are paid-entries.

Chion-in’s Sanmon as seen from Yuzen Garden

Yuzen Garden was designed in 1954 (thus relatively new) in commemoration of the 300th birthday of Miyazaki Yuzen, the founder of Yuzen dyeing method.

Miyazaki Yuzen Statue

Upon entering the garden, you will first see a bronze statue of Kannon (Goddess of Mercy), sculpted by Takamura Koun (the sculptor famous for the Saigo Takamori statue in Ueno Park, Tokyo) around a pond. This is one of the two gardens in Yuzen Garden, the chisen-kaiyushiki-teien style garden, basically a hill and pond garden.

Bronze Kannon Statue


Next, to the west is a kare-sansui garden (dry landscape / rock garden), called the Rokuya-on Garden. Rokuya-on is the name of the deer park where Buddha first delivered his sermon.

The rock garden Rokuya-on
The rock garden as seen from Miyazaki Yuzen’s statue
Pathway between the two gardens

In this garden, you will find a bronze statue of Miyazaki Yuzen overlooking the rock garden.

Miyazaki Yuzen statue surrounded by autumn leaves


Autumn was more impressive at the back of Yuzen Garden, where you will find two tea houses, Karoku-an and Hakoju-an, both of which are associated to the Urasenke tea ceremony school (founded by Sen-no-Rikyu).

Bright leaves
Karoku-an Tea House
Hakoju-an Tea House
Sanmon from the back of Yuzen Garden
That’s autumn alright


Admission fee: 300 yen

Opening hours: 09:00 – 16:15

Official Chion-in website


Chion-in is an 800m, 10 minutes walk away from Higashiyama station on the Tozai subway line. A number of buses (201, 202, 203, 206) stops at Chion-in mae (知恩院前), 500m away from the temple. See here for a full list of buses. Nearby temples are Shoren-in (4 mins, 400m), Maruyama Park (3 mins, 300m), and Yasaka Shrine (6 mins, 500m).



One thought on “Basking in the Sun at Yuzen Garden, Chion-in

  1. Pingback: Art and Gardens at Monzeki Temple, Shoren-in – Japan Wonders

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