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詩仙堂 Shisendo Temple

  • Culture / Art / History (Historical sites)
  • Other Central Kyoto Area
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  • Closed23rd May

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Maps are rarely carried out with accessing from mainland China.

District
Other Central Kyoto Area
Address
27, Ichijoji Monguchicho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 606-8154, Japan
Category
  • Culture / Art / History (Historical sites)
Opening Hours
9:00-17:00
Closed
23rd May
Website
http://www.kyoto-shisendo.com/En/top.html
Tel.
+81-75-781-2954
Date of post:2015/04/23

An inheritance of cultured man in the Edo period

  • Historic / Cultural Experiences

Shisen-do used to be a mountain villa of Ishikawa Jozan, who was a vassal of Tokugawa Ieyasu and a cultured man of those days. Now it is also a temple of the Soto Zen school. The building was completed in 1641 and after that retired Jozan spent his time making poems there for more than 30 years. He was also an expert on making gardens and planned his own garden. The name of this place came from 36 Chinese great poets he chose. He ordered Kano Tanyu to paint those poets and he himself wrote down their poem on the portraits. Those portraits were used to decorate the upper part of a room. This room was called Shisen-no-ma, the room of great poets. So this place as a whole was called Shisen-do, the hall of great poets.

The entrance of Shisen-do has a small gate called Shoyudo. A small path with bamboo-fences will lead you to the entrance of the building, passing through the gate called Roubai-kan. Entering the building, you will find rooms wide-open to a garden. This is the best and the most famous place to appreciate the scenery. You can sit on the red carpet and rest a while, feeling the tranquility of Higashiyama area. It is quiet, but you sometimes hear a sound of beating a bamboo stalk after the interval. The sound is produced by a simple device made with a piece of bamboo stalk. The device, Shishiodoshi, works with a tiny stream of water and you can see it actually in a corner of the outer garden.

In order to visit the outer garden, you have to get out of the entrance of the building and take another little path with a stone wall. You can promenade around this novel garden. It may be interesting to look for the device according to the direction of coming sounds.

When you go back to the main gate you can imagine again the stylish life that Jozan led.

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