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“Even the fish are a bit drab”
Review of Shosei-en Garden

Shosei-en Garden
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$121.66*
and up
Private Custom Tour: Kyoto in One Day
Ranked #77 of 1,235 things to do in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed March 4, 2013

I imagine this garden is quite pretty when the grass is green and the cherry trees are blossoming, but we went today and everything was pretty dead and drab. This, combined with the fact that all the buildings onsite are closed to visitors, makes the "suggested donation" of 5,000 YEN a bit steep for someone on a tight budget. If you're strapped for time and/or cash while in Kyoto, this wouldn't be one of my top choices.

Thank CompassWhistle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 - 65 of 180 reviews

Reviewed November 24, 2012

Because this garden is so central I think it might be overlooked by tourists but it shouldn't be. It has some beautiful ponds and old wooden bridges creating some amazing reflections so if you like photography this one is for you. A donation of Y500 - I think the word donation got lost in translation because it is expected that you pay. We caught a taxi for around 700Y . We then walked back to the train station and went up the escalators to the top of the station for some fabulous views.

1  Thank paulsa60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

I don't know how I missed this garden over very many visits to Kyoto, covering 45 years. It's very central - right in the middle of the city - and just East of its 'parent' Higashi Honganji. It is 10 minutes walk from Kyoto station. HH is having major repairs in 2012 and currently largely under wraps. Shosei-en though is a lovely place to walk and relax, seemingly full of peace, light & joy, and because it receives very little publicity is virtually empty. You are aware of the surrounding city though and it has (for better or worse) Kyoto Tower as a 'borrowed view'. There are plenty of photo opportunities of lakes and waterways, delightful bushes, lanterns, bridges and traditional buildings.
Entrance is 500 Yen, but you get a pamphlet in English & a lovely 27 page A4 full colour book with captions in English - though the rest is Japanese.
Sadly the main buildings themselves, and the deck overlooking the large pond, were not open to the public. The gardens are designed to have something of interest right through the year. This is a garden to relish and relatively easy to enjoy for those with physical disabilites.

1  Thank Jeffrey F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2012

quaint little garden, one hour of time is more than enough or here, nice escape from city only a couple of blocks from the station, 610 yen taxi ride. we even got to see geisha here. 500 yen per person entry but you get a colourful book if the garden worth that at least.

1  Thank aussierktgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2012

Costs 500 yen to enter they also provide a map and pamphlet of pretty pictures of the garden in the different seasons. I was lucky enough to be in kyoto during cherry blossom season. The garden was pretty it will take about 30-45 min to walk through and take pictures.

2  Thank Nancy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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