Daisen-in's outstanding Japanese garden is located within the compound of one of Kyoto’s most important Zen temples.
The name of Daisen-in means "The Hall of the Great Immortals"
Founded in 1509, Daisen-in houses the oldest surviving example of a tokonoma alcove, as well as fusuma sliding doors that are Important Cultural Properties
It can be accessible by train or bus.
Daisen-in is within the Daitokuji Temple complex, a fifteen minute walk from Kitaoji Station, on the Karasuma Line. Alternately, take the #205 or the #206 bus from Kyoto Station and get off at Daitokuji-mae bus stop.
Daisen-in, located inside the Daitoku-ji temple precincts, is one of the oldest buildings of the Rinzai Zen sect of Buddhism. Zen is famous for the practice of “zazen” or religious meditation. Daisen-in Shoin Temple Garden is a Karesansui type of garden, which expresses the flow of water from the mountains to the sea using only stones, sand, trees and plants.
The narrow space on the east side of the temple is filled with stones of various sizes, symbolizing the natural environment of steep mountains and deep valleys. This narrow space “flows” into the Daisen-in’s larger garden, which symbolizes a torrent rushing into the great ocean. The garden has been designated a special scenic site and historic site by the Japanese government.
The Main Hall has been designated a National Treasure, and the paintings on the sliding screen doors within are Important Cultural Properties. Painted in a Chinese monochromatic style by Kano Motonobu, they depict the natural scenery of flowers and birds.
Daisen-in is open from 9am – 5pm and costs 400 yen to enter. The temple hosts zazen meditation sessions here on Saturdays and Sundays from 5-6pm from March to November, and from 4:30pm – 5:30pm from December to February. Zazen sessions have a fee of 1000 yen per person.