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Fascinating Garden
Culture Experience

Shosei-en Garden “Kikoku-tei Villa”

'Shosei-en Garden, a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty that belongs to Kyoto’s Higashi Hongan-ji Temple, is a deeply historical garden created during the Edo period. Located nearby Kyoto Station, it has on its approximately 53,000m2 a large and small pond and a constellation of spaces that includes Japanese teahouses and drawing rooms (shoin). Starting with its maple trees and cherry blossoms, the garden has flowers that bloom throughout the four seasons, allowing us to enjoy a landscape rich in change. As Higashi Honganji Temple’s “reception venue,” Shosei-en Garden is a guest entertainment garden that has been visited by many guests from both Japan and abroad, including the last Tokugawa shogun, the Meiji emperor, and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. It has a majestic stone arrangement created during the Edo period and has been designated a national Place of Scenic Beauty as a Buddhist temple garden on the grounds of Higashi Honganji Temple that brims with Japanese literati taste.

The name Shosei-en is a reference to “crossing (shō) over the days, my garden (en) becomes (sei) ever more tasteful,” a line from the Chinese poet Tao Yuanming’s poem “Let Me Return Home Again.” The garden’s name expresses the hope that its beauty will transcend each day, season, and age. We hope the garden will also transcend the seas and be treasured by as many people as possible. It is in this hope that the gardeners of Ueyakato Landscape, Shosei-en Garden’s dedicated landscaping company, give the garden its daily care.

Shosei-en Garden (Higashi-honganji Temple website) Shosei-en Garden (Ueyakato Landscape website)