Daisen-in Temple

Daisen-in Temple © Iry

About Daisen-in Temple

Daisen-in is one of subtemples under Daitokuji Temple, one of the head temples of the Rinzai sect, located in Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi. It was founded in 1509 by the 76th chief priest of Daitoku-ji Kogaku Soko Zenji (Zen master). Hondo (the main building of a temple) is designated as a National Treasure, the second oldest hojo architecture (abbot's quarters) in Japan. It also has a tokonoma (alcove), oldest in Japan, and a genkan (entrance), oldest and designated as a National Treasure on its own. Daisen-in is most famous for its kare-sansui (dry landscape garden) designed by Kogaku Soto Zenji. The garden surrounds the National Treasure hojo. In the south, besides the entrance, two mounds of white sand are arranged to represent an ocean, and a boat-shaped rock is arranged on white sand near a roofed bridge, which represents a river. In the north-east of the garden, rocks and tress such as camellia and pine are composed into a landscape of deep mountains and deep valleys. The garden is considered the prototype of kare-sansui, where waterfall in a mountain becomes a river streaming toward an ocean. Recognized for the historical value, its kare-sansui garden has been nationally designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty. "Weekend Zazenkai" program is held in the evening of every weekend. The popular program allows participants to face the garden and sit in meditation.


Take the City Bus (Kyoto Transportation Bureau) from JR Kyoto station and get off at Daitokuji-mae stop. From the bus stop, it is an 8 minute walk.

Image Gallery: Daisen-in Temple

Description: Daisen-in Temple

Sights Daisen-in Temple (大仙院)
Address 54-1 Murasakino Daitokuji, Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi
Phone / Fax Phone: 075-491-8346
Duration 1Hour(s)
Business Hours Monday:09:00-17:00
Closed dates 7 days open
Admission Fee Pay admission: 400yen
Recommended Season
Spring (March - May)
Summer (June - August) Autumn (September - November) Winter (December - February)
Recommended target Family Couples Groups Infant & Toddler (ages 0-6) Child (ages 7-17) Adult (ages 20+) Single traveller

Map: Daisen-in Temple