Shosei-en Garden
Shosei-en Garden
4
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
About
This is the detached garden of Higashi Honganji, which was donated by Tokugawa Iemitsu, the 3rd shōgun, in 1641. It covers an area of about 33,000 square meters (8 acres) and was designed by Jōzan Ishikawa. The various structures in this garden were destroyed twice by fire in 1858 and 1864 and the present construction took place during the Meiji period. This garden is filled with many kinds of flowers throughout the year, and the colorful scenery is highly appreciated. Currently, Ingetsu-chi Pond in Shōsei-en Garden is undergoing renovation so we lower water levels in the pond from January 1, 2017 to March 25, 2017. Thank you very much for your understanding and cooperation. Shinsetsu-kyō (Snow-capped Bridge) in Shōsei-en Garden is undergoing renovation due to deterioration. The renovation period is March 1, 2017 to the end of October 2017. Please cross Kaitō-rō (Chinese corridor-style Bridge) to get to Shukuen-tei (Tea House). Please watch your step when you pass someone on the bridge. Also, currently we lower water levels in the pond, Ingetsu-chi due to the renovation. Thank you very much for your understanding and cooperation.
Duration: < 1 hour
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Shimogyo-ku
Shimogyo-ku is centered around the busy train hub, Kyoto Station. A nexus for commerce, shopping, dining, and hotels, the Shimogyo-ku area is infused with tourists and local business travelers, making it a competitive location for ever-new commercial structures. The shops and cafes here are chic and trendy, as a result, with many recognizable chains. Commuters flood the Shimogyo-ku area twice a day, and with Kyoto Station itself being a modern mega-complex and an architectural marvel, this neighborhood is one of the most contemporary and energetic areas that the city has to offer. Buildings here look futuristic, and huge department stores, shopping arcades, and public meeting spaces provide every possible convenience. It is also nearly the only place in Kyoto where rooftop dining and socializing is available, completing its modern tone.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles252 reviews
Excellent
107
Very good
109
Average
29
Poor
5
Terrible
2

Dee
17 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Family
These gardens are a beautiful, tranquil oasis and not too busy. The experience felt authentic, with the gardens and temple buildings in various states of restoration. We spent a very enjoyable hour exploring this compound.
Written September 23, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

delagioventu
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg1,406 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
Beautiful garden with great views to take pictures, with lakes and bridges and lush vegetation, perfect for a relaxing stroll.
Written July 24, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

carloscharmy
Bangkok, Thailand703 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
By late March wasn't spectacular but I really enjoyed my time there. I think I spent nearly 2 hours just strolling around. One of the best bits it's that it was nearly empty.
Written April 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John W
Jindabyne, Australia492 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Solo
Shosei-en is an island of tranquillity in the busy heart of Kyoto. Not just from the traffic but also the crowds. Not many people visit. It has some nice features but its landscaping is more low key than better known gardens. At the time of my visit the section of the pond east of the islands was drained for maintenance, proof that the ¥500 entry fee is being put to use. The most striking feature is the stone wall that you confront on entry, an abstract construction of repurposed stones from elsewhere. One solitary plum tree was in glorious blossom, otherwise the garden was waiting for spring. The resident herons were not waiting; they were raucously building their nests in the trees at the southeast corner. The borrowed scenery of the eastern hills has been supplanted by one of high rise buildings.
Written March 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maurice W
Melbourne, Australia923 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Couples
We were early for our tea ceremony and decided to take a stroll in the adjacent streets and came across Shosei-en Gardens what an of peace and quiet the entry fee is 500¥ but it's worth it unfortunately I didn't have my DSLR camera and had to use my phones camera which was disappointing as there are so many photo opportunities in the gardens
The time we were there there were only about 10 other people there and you have to keep reminding yourself that you're in the center of a city as it's so peaceful, thoroughly worth a visit when you in Kyoto
Written February 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hfot2 🌸🍁🌸
Vermont7,437 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
We returned to Shosei-en in 2019 in hopes of seeing the sakura in better bloom than when we visited previously. It was a great idea and good timing, thanks in part to the advice of the Kyoto TIC.

This is a lovely garden overlooked by many. With sakura at peak there were more visitors than on our previous visit, but hardly enough to make it seem crowded.

If you catch the garden at the right time, it is splendid.

Be sure to get - and read - the lovely book you are offered free at the entrance gate. We asked the ticket sales people to hold our book for us until we left so we didn’t have to carry it with us as we strolled and photographed. They did, but they cautioned that it might not be there when we returned to pick it up. Of course, it was waiting for us behind the desk.
Written February 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JuneofBrisVegas
Samford, Australia57 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Solo
We visited this garden after doing a tour of the famous Castle adjacent. You need to allow a minimum of 1 hour but to see and appreciate at a more leisurely pace certainly all is more time. After the hectic crowds at the castle it was lovely and serene even with quite agood number of visitors. The autumn colours were beautiful and lots of lovely photo opportunities. There is a tea house on the grounds also.
Written December 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Byngette
Woodstock, Canada4,174 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019 • Couples
This garden costs 500¥ per person to enter. The sign says that proceeds go towards "the upkeep of the garden", but honestly, it is pretty overrun with weeds and doesn't seem that anyone does anything to maintain it.
We took the sheet provided that gives directions and explains what everything is. Near the beginning there was something called 'a well' that was about 1.5 feet deep with rocks inside and weeds growing around it. Many places are roped off with signs saying "authorized personnel only". It was humid out and we were super hot, walking around uncovered in the sun, feeling like we paid to see it so we might as well finish going through each area.
This was the most underwhelming thing we did in our whole trip to Tokyo and Kyoto. The water was nice with the bridge going across it, but you can see this for free anywhere. The only great thing about this garden is simply the fact that it exists in the middle of the busy city and you can look out from the middle of the garden and see high rise buildings all around it.
Written September 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephenbkk20156
Okayama Prefecture, Japan712 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Friends
We missed the cherry blossom but found plenty of other spring delights here.

The taxi driver took us right to the gate, surprised that we wanted to go to the garden rather than the imposing temple a couple of blocks away that owns it. The price of admission got us a lavishly printed English brochure and a map. We didn't really need the map - we just followed our noses - but the brochure made a handsome talking point when we got home, meaning we didn't really need to take any pictures.

The garden itself is a total delight. Flowers, rocks, trees, buildings, water, gravel, landscape, all in eye (and nose-) pleasing harmony. We strolled, we sat, we talked, we watched the other people, we relaxed. Kyoto is a pretty bustling city for the most part, but this was a true oasis. Loved it.
Written June 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Honestcouple
Lancashire134 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Couples
Very detailed literature in English given with entrance fee. Probably better in Spring than in Autumn.
Written June 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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