See the unforgettable aurora-like green floor of Jisso-in Temple
Green, lush maple leaves reflect on the floor of this temple, moving with the wind; the scene almost reminding you of looking at aurora borealis in Lapland. The floor is cleaned every day so that it will always reflect this scene. If you visit in autumn, the aurora borealis reflecting on the floor will become red, and if you happen to visit this temple in winter, the winds of winter will make the floor turn white. This temple is a monzeki temple, meaning that someone from the imperial family has been a priest at this temple. Many temples were burned down in the fires of the wars that raged in Japan during the Muromachi period but Jisso-in was rebuilt in the present location with the support of shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu in the beginning of Edo period. The temple itself was founded in the year 1229 AD, almost 780 years ago.
Maple leaves reflected on the floor of the temple
Maple leaves reflected on the floor of the temple
The maple leaves outside are reflected on the black, polished floor of the temple, green in spring and summer, and red and yellow in autumn; and the pure snowy white in winter. The length of the reflection changes depending on the time of the day, so you get to see a different sight in the morning and in the afternoon. *Please notice that you can’t take pictures of it.
Over 100 sliding doors
Over 100 sliding doors
There are historic fusuma sliding doors in each room of the temple. Many of these fusuma were painted by artists of the Kano school, one of the most famous schools of Japanese painting. These firmly outlined paintings on the fusuma sliding doors are works of art so be sure to pay attention to them when touring the temple.
See the rock garden
3Good Experiences
See the rock garden
The rocks and moss in this rock garden reflect the shape of Japan. The moss-covered islands of Japan are surrounded by the sea, in other words the white pebbles. This beautiful garden was reformed into the present shape in 2014 by volunteers under the guidance of the famous garden designer Katsuaki Ogawa. The name of this garden is “The Heart Garden,” the name and garden being a prayer for the victims of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
Try to find a frog
4Good Experiences
Try to find a frog
In the pond of the other garden of the temple, you can see forest green tree frogs. These vividly green frogs are something you don’t often see in cities so take this chance and look for one of these small amphibians. Sometimes the tadpoles of these frogs are raised by temple staff.
Manner & Tips
- Manner & Tips -
Please do not take any photos inside the temple. Only taking photos from the terrace is permitted. Do not run nor make noise.
3.7 experience4.5 access2.5 photogenic4.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.7 experience4.5 access2.5 photogenic4.0
Jisso-in Temple is famous as a place to view the autumn leaves. At this temple there is a room with a black floor that reflects the leaves of the maples behind it, so you get to see a red floor in autumn, a green floor in spring, and a white floor in winter. This temple is a bit far from the closest station so it is a very nice, quiet place.
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Jisso-in Temple / 実相院
Category Temples & Shrines, Japanese Gardens
Phone +81 075-781-5464
Address 121, Iwakura Aguracho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 606-0017
Directions Jisso-in Temple is a 1-minute walk from Iwakura Jissoin bus stop, which can be reached by Kyoto City Bus number 24 from subway Kokusaikaikan Station.
Open Hours 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Reservations Not accepted
Closed Irregular days
Price range
Adult ¥500 / Child ¥250
Credit cards Not accepted
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
The brochure of the temple has English, Chinese, and Korean.
Information The brochure is in English, Chinese, and Korean
Lanuages spoken Japanese only
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