Enjoy the beautiful picture frame garden in Ohara
Hosen-in Temple (Hosenin) is located in Ohara, Kyoto. It takes about an hour by train from Kyoto station. Hosen-in Temple is the perfect place for a calm and solemn meditating moment. When you enter the main hall, you may be amazed by the huge window frames without window glass that open to the garden. You can enjoy this beautiful garden inside the main hall of the temple, the whole scene starting to look like one picture inside a frame. If you so wish, you can also get some matcha tea and traditional Japanese sweets while you enjoy the gorgeous garden.
When you enter the main hall, there is a huge tree in front of you. This pinetree is about 700 years old and is very famous as the shape of it resembles Mount Fuji. It is a unique pinetree as it has five leaves in one cluster. I suggest that you enjoy this garden in the back of the main hall so that it looks as if it is one picture framed with pillars of the temple.
Around 400 years ago the siege of Fushimi was fought in Kyoto. The samurai of Fushimi lost the fight and about 370 of them committed seppuku, also known as hara-kiri. The planks used as the ceiling were originally used as floor where these samurai committed suicide. You can still see the stains of the cruel events and there are actually stains in the shape of eyebrows, eyes, nose and mouths of dying samurai. All these stains are from the blood of the samurai warriors.
If you would like to enjoy matcha, the temple staff will serve you some matcha tea and Japanese sweets. We suggest that you enjoy matcha tea on the red carpet near the veranda first and then move to the back of the main hall as you may see the different pictures of this beautiful garden with tasty matcha.
Listen to Suikinkutsu – a water harp
When you enter the main hall, there are two bamboo poles on the left side of the main hall. If you get close to them, you may hear the beautiful water drop sound. It is called Suikinkutsu, or a water harp. There is a buried earthen jar that makes sound when water drips into it. The sounds are different each time depending on the size of the water drops. You may enjoy listening to the peaceful sounds in the solemn garden.
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Hosen-in Temple / 宝泉院
|Category||Temples & Shrines, Japanese Gardens|
|Address||187, Ohara Shorinincho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 601-1241|
|Directions||10-minute walk from Ohara bus stop by City bus #17 and #18 from JR Kyoto Station|
|Open Hours||9am - 5pm (must enter by 4:30pm)|
Adults ￥800 (includes matcha tea and Japanese sweets) Junior and high school students ￥700 Elementary school students ￥600 *Group discount is available (30 people or more)
|Credit cards||Not accepted|
There are English brochures at the entrance and also a staff who speaks fluent English and can explain the historical events happened in this temple (not always in the temple).
|Information||Japanese and English|
|Lanuages spoken||Japanese and English|