Here’s Why You Should Include This Monastery in Your Kyoto Itinerary

There are plenty of attractions to see!


540 Ohara, Raigoincho, Sakyo, Kyoto
Contact: 075-744-2531
Open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closes at 5:30 p.m. depending on the season)
Admission fee: ¥700

How to get there:
1. From Kyoto Higashi IC: take Kyoto Prefecture Route 143 to the west, turn right at the Nanzenjimae intersection, continue on Shirakawa street to the north, turn right at Hanasonobashi intersection and continue on National Route 367 heading northeast. (40 minutes)

2. From Kokusaikaikan Station: take the Kyoto bus bound for Oharakodeishi for around 23 minutes; get off at Ohara bus stop and walk for around 10 minutes (¥350)

Sanzen-in is a monastery in Kyoto with two famous and scenic gardens that are must-visits, whatever the season may be. The first garden is the Shuheki Garden, which has been restored by Kanamori Sowa, a tea master from the Edo period. Tourists will have a grand time exploring the premises with its lovely fountain and pond.

The second garden in Sanzen-in is the Yusei Garden. This spot has been tagged by Japanese writer Inoue Yasushi as an “oriental jewelry box.” In the garden, you will find big cedar trees, and warabejizo, tiny guardian deities with lovely facial expressions that blend well with mosses covering them.

The warabejizo is an artwork by Sugimura Takashi

In this garden, you’ll also find a three-level waterfall with ripples that evoke a feeling of serenity.

Take the whole scenery in with matcha with a Japanese treat at Shuheki garden (¥500 for 1 set).

After exploring these gardens, you may want to check out these establishments for a snack or two.

OHARA River Side Cafe Kirin

114 Ohara, Raigoincho, Sakyo, Kyoto
Contact: 075-744-2239
Open from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, except on Tuesdays or the following day in case of a national holiday.

While you’re in the area, try the OHARA River Side Cafe Kirin, a 12-minute walk from Sanzen-in. Run by an owner who is a certified vegetable sommelier, the cafe uses local ingredients from the Ohara area. They're also famous for their riceball (onigiri) lunch made from newly milled rice and is served with buffet-style Kyoto side dishes (obanzai).

Sato no Megumi, a riceball lunch set (¥1,500) that comes with five flavors of rice balls and all-you-can-eat side dishes

Unlimited side dishes for you to try

Sanzenin-han, Ohara ,Sakyo, Kyoto
Contact: 075-744-2301
Open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

, a teahouse located just along the road that leads to Sanzen-in, is only a minute’s walk from the area. Here, you can enjoy sweets called warabimochi, a jelly-like starch dumpling, and mitarashi dango, a sweet ball-shaped dumpling. If you’re visiting during summer, you can also try the cold sweet red bean soup known as hiyashizenzai and the cream anmitsu.


Cream anmitsu (¥700), Cold warabimochi zenzai with homemade red bean paste (¥700) (Not sold the entire year)

Inside the cafe, there are both Japanese-style tatami seats and table seats for you to sit on.

Provided by Japan Walker™, Kansai Walker™ (6 September 2017)

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