Dec. 11, 2018 UPDATE

Daitoku-ji Shinjuan Special Viewing

- 大徳寺 真珠庵 特別公開 -
PeriodSeptember 1 - December 16,2018 (Except October 19-21)
Anything goes at Shinju-an: Don’t miss the sliding door paintings!
Right now, there is a special viewing event taking place at Shinjuan, a sub-temple of Daitoku-ji. Until December 16, 2018, the traditional sliding door paintings of Shinjuan have been changed to new ones, for the first time in 400 years. The people given the task of making these new sliding door paintings were manga artists, movie directors, and art directors for games; creative people working in many different fields. It’s unheard of that a temple is this welcoming to subculture-related art, but this is because the founder of Shinjuan, a Zen Buddhist monk named Ikkyu, was himself an unconventional person who could think outside of the box. The harmony of traditional temple architecture and the world of games and manga is something that feels a bit strange, but the atmosphere also makes you forget about the time ticking away. As for the temple, the reason why they’re holding this event is to get those people not really into temples and Zen Buddhism to visit it too. Shinjuan is not normally open to the public, so even getting to go inside is a rare treat, so even those don’t normally go to temples should give it a thought.
Sliding door paintings
Sliding door paintings
This time they have six works of art on display. The six artists, who each work at different fields and have different drawing styles, each received an assignment about what to draw from the head priest and did their artwork in accordance with it. Because of this, each sliding door painting is different and has its own unique beauty. The time it took to paint the sliding doors also varied a lot, with some artists manging it in as short a time as three days, while the art director of the Final Fantasy series, Isamu Kamikokuryo took almost a year to make his painting (and he is still not satisfied with it and continues making small corrections to it). In some of the artwork, the people painted in them have real counterparts. For example, the artist drawing the manga Tsuribaka Nisshi, Ken’ichi Kitami, has painted the head-priest of the temple into his painting, and not only in one spot, but many. So if you’re interested, please look for the head-priest in the painting!
Study room Tsusenin (tea room Teigyokuken)
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Study room Tsusenin (tea room Teigyokuken)
The sliding door paintings are of course great, but the study room of Tsusenin is also something you can’t normally enter, so remember to check it out too. The building used to belong to the empress consort, but was gifted to a physician during the Sengoku period, and then gifted it to Shinjuan. If you look at the other buildings at Shinjuan, you’ll notice that the wooden latticework is horizontal, but if you look at Tsusenin, the latticework is vertical, giving it a delicate appearance, so you can see that this building was probably used by women. Inside it, you can see paintings by some of the most famous Japanese artists, such as an ink painting by Kano Motonobu and a gold-leaf painting by Tosa Mitsuoki. Getting to see these paintings in the natural light coming by the sliding doors is a special kind of feeling. There is also a tea room Teigyokuken. It’s pretty dark inside, and it’s not easy to see it all but to think that this is the room where they have tea ceremonies is very interesting.
Manner & Tips
- Manner & Tips -

No photography allowed at the temple. 

Children not yet in elementary school cannot enter the study room Tsusenin and the tea room Teigyokuken. 

Because the temple is a registered Cultural Property, you have to leave your belongings at the front. 

If you want to go to the bathroom, please use the bathroom of Daitoku-ji Temple’s parking lot. 

3.6 experience4.5 access3.0 photogenic3.3
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
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The concept of this special viewing was “Anything goes!” and I felt like all the different sliding door paintings had a unique charm to them! Each one of the paintings is painted more carefully than the last, so please take a moment to look at them carefully. I recommend going to this event, as there are not usually events in Kyoto like it, that combine a historical temple and modern anime, manga, and games! At the merchandise corner, you can get such things as postcards and letter paper with the sliding door paintings on them, so consider buying something as a souvenir!
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Shinjuan is a sub-temple of Daitoku-ji, and is located on the site of the main temple. Daitoku-ji Temple has so many sub-temples that it's sometimes hard to keep track of them, but Shinjuan is probably the most memorable of them all right now. Talking of the artwork displayed at this temple right now, the one that left the deepest impression on me was the sliding door painting by the CEO of Gainax Yamaga Hiroyuki, Just Getting By. The painting of the black-tailed gull and fighter jet look dynamic, and there is a movement not normally seen in sliding door paintings in his work. The ring you can see in the middle of the painting is a mystery which left me waiting for new works by Yamaga Hiroyuki.
5.0 experience5.0 access5.0 photogenic5.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
5.0 experience5.0 access5.0 photogenic5.0
Daitoku-ji Shinjuan Special Viewing / 大徳寺 真珠庵 特別公開
Phone ---
Address 52 Murasakino Daitokuji-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
Directions Kyoto City Bus from Kyoto Station’s Karasumaguchi exit Take City Bus #206 going to Senbon-dori and Kitaoji Bus Terminal from bus platform A3. After getting off at Daitokuji-mae bus stop, it’s a 7-minute walk to Shinjuan. (Estimated time required: 55 minutes) Or take City Bus #205 going to Nishioji-dori, Kinkaku-ji, and Kitaoji Bus Terminal. After getting off at Daitokuji-mae bus stop, it’s a 7-minute walk to Shinjuan. (Estimated time required: 60 minutes) From Kyoto Station to Shinjuan by subway and bus Take subway Karasuma line toward Kokusai Kaikan and get off at Kitaoji Station. From Kitaoji Bus Terminal, go to the blue platform and take city bus #1, #101, #102, #204, #205, or #206, and get off at Daitokuji-mae bus stop, it’s a 7-minute walk to Shinjuan. (Estimated time required: 35 minutes) How to get to Shinjuan: Daitoku-ji Temple is really vast. Please also look at the map of Daitoku-ji Temple which you can see in this article to see how to get to Shinjuan. Close to Shinjuan you can see a sign about the event which should help you find the entrance.
Event time 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (You need to enter the event by 4:00 p.m.)
Cancellations If a weather warning has been issued because of strong wind, rain, or an earthquake, or if work needs to be done to protect the Cultural Property, or if entering the premises is deemed to be dangerous, the event will be canceled without an advance announcement. This will be announced on the official website:
Price range
Adults: 1.200 yen, middle and high school students: 600 yen, elementary school and under (with a guardian): free.
Credit cards VISA, MASTER, JCB, AMEX, Diners / Accepted *Only at the merchandise corner.
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
They also have pamphlets in English, and the official website is also in English.
Information Inscriptions in English
Lanuages spoken Some simple English
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