Precincts of Shoren-in Temple

Top > Precincts of Shoren-in Temple

About the Prencincts of Shoren-in

Despite encountering several difficulties over the years including the damages inflicted by the Onin War and the seizure of a part of its property (currently, the premise of the Chionin temple) by the Tokugawa shogunate government, its precinct yard, which extends from a beautiful garden, created in the Muromachi era, including the Ryujin-no-ike (known to have been designed by Soami) in its center, to the Shogun Ground on Mt. Awata, till date, is in its original condition. In the Tokugawa era, the shogunate government built a hall to honor the successive head priests and related members of the imperial family, relocating the former residence of Tofukumon-in to the current location.


Shoren-in Temple Garden

The garden of Shoren-in temple was created at the base of Mt. Awata. It is believed that this tranquil and overwhelming garden was designed by Soami during the Muromachi era. The garden on the east side of Sokaden, known as the Garden of Kirishima, was designed by Enshu Kobori and has beautiful flowers in varying colors, including azaleas that cover the entire slope alongside the Kobuntei, interspersed with flowers such as cape jasmine and the Japanese andromeda. One corner of the Kobuntei offers a completely different environment. Undoubtedly, this is one of the most beautiful Japanese gardens that effectively utilizes its surrounding natural beauty.

Since the Shorenin temple is a venerable temple closely associated with the imperial family, its entire structure is elegant due to its gracious appearance.

In the central part of the garden, there is a pond, Ryujin-no-ike, surrounded by the three buildings―Kogosho, Kachoden (guesthouse), and Kobuntei. To the south of the pond, there is a basin of a waterfall, Sensin-no-taki, which flows down from Mt. Awata. On the eastern side of the garden, there is a small, mildly curved hill. This hill is often found in the drawings of Sotatsu or in those of the Tosa school of painting. The Kobuntei is located on the northern side of the hill.

On its southern side, the rim of the pond stretches to the south, between the base of the mountain and the building, running under the roof edge of the Kogosho. Across the narrow part of the pond near the Kogosho, there is a semicircular stone bridge known as Koryu-no-hashi, which is built from two types of granites. The design of this stone bridge incorporates several innovative ideas.

Located at the centre of Ryujin-no-ike is a big stone; its shape gives the appearance of the back of a dragon bathing in the pond. On the western side, facing the waterfall and basin, there is a big blue stone used for worship.

In front of the connecting corridor near the Kogosho, there is a basin created by a straight line-shaped natural stone. This stone basin, symbolizes valiance and well known as Ichimonji-Chozubachi; it was donated by Hideyoshi Toyotomi.



本堂(熾盛光堂 Shijoko-do)



四脚問(Shikyaku-mon Gate)

長屋門(Nagaya-mon Gate)




霧島の庭(Garden-of Kirishima)


Page Top