Local map

Places of interest in the vicinity

Shisen-do temple

A little less than 10 minutes of walk on a gentle slope from Ichijoji-Sagarimatsu-cho bus stop toward east leads you to a small gate in a bamboo grove. It is the entrance of Shisen-do (the House of Great Poets) temple, a former hermitage of a man of taste and ex-samurai Ishikawa Jozan (1583-1672).

The Soto-shu sect Zen Buddhist temple has a good garden that was laid out by Jozan himself, a talented designer of gardens, on a slope of a foot of Uryu-yama. There is a Shishiodoshi, or Sozu in the garden that was said to be invented by Jozan.

History of Shisen-do

Jozan built a cottage named Ohtotsu-ka (uneven nest) in the year 1641 to spend a secluded life. He displayed poems and portraits of 36 Chinese ancient poets in one of the temples rooms, that is called Shisen-no-ma. This is the reason why this temple is called Shisen-do.

The building was repaired in 1748 and 1967 but keeps its original. In the year 1966, Shisen-do temple became a branch temple of Eihei-ji that is one of two head temples of Soto-shu sect.

NOTE: Jozan used to be a retainer of the first Tokugawa shogun, Ieyasu. In the year 1615, he stole a march on the others to attack the enemy castle first and was expelled for violation of military discipline despite of a credit.

How to get to Shisen-do

  • 38 minutes from JR Kyoto station to Ichijoji-Sagarimatsu-cho on Kyoto City Bus No. 5, then 10 minutes on foot.

Hours and Admission

Open daily except May 23 that is an anniversary of Jozan's death.

9:00 -17:00
The box office will be closed 16:45.

All except the following: 500 yen
High school students: 400 yen
Elementary school and junior high school students (1st to 9th graders): 200 yen
Children under school age: free.

Photos / Pictures

Click on a photo for a larger image.

Omote-mon gate "Shoyudo".
April 29, 2008
A narrow approach.
April 29, 2008
A gate "Robaikan".
April 29, 2008
Shogetsuro looked from Robaikan gate.
April 29, 2008
Tatami room of shoin facing a Karesansui garden.
April 29, 2008
Small waterfalls called Senmobaku.
April 29, 2008
The building of the temple.
April 29, 2008
White wisteria.
April 29, 2008
April 29, 2008
Shogetsuro and trimmed azalea
November 25, 2002
Fallen leaves on trimmed azalea.
November 25, 2002
The garden of Shisen-do. The blur image in the middle of the picture is called "shishiodoshi" or "sozu", a simple devise of bamboo that makes a sound to threaten and drive deers away. Click HERE to see a movie (276KB) of it

November 25, 2002
Colored leaves in the garden
November 25, 2002
Plum blossoms of Shisen-do
March 31, 2003
"Wabisuke" camellia of Shisen-do
March 31, 2003