Japan Kyoto Okazaki Park

Heian Shrine Gardens

A journey through Heian-era imperial grandeur

Photo of Heian Shrine Gardens, Japan (Le lac du sanctuaire shinto Heian-Jingu (Kyoto, Japon) by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra)

Located in the historical heart of Kyoto, the Heian Shrine Gardens, or Heian Jingu Shin’en, offer a tranquil retreat designed in the style of the Heian period imperial gardens. These picturesque grounds feature ponds, bridges, and cherry blossoms, embodying the cultural legacy of Kyoto.

About Heian Shrine Gardens

The 33,000 square meter Heian Jingu Shin’en was created in 1895, commemorating the 1100th anniversary of Kyoto becoming the national capital. Landscape architect Ogawa Jihei played a key role in the garden’s design, which embodies the cultural flourishing and artistic achievement of the Heian period (794-1185).

The Heian Jingu Shin’en is comprised of the South Garden (Minami Shin’en), West Garden (Nishi Shin’en), Middle Garden (Naka Shin’en), and East Garden (Higashi Shin’en), each with its own historical elements. The Soryu-ike pond mirrors the shrine’s vermilion torii gate, while the Taiheikaku is a bridge evoking the style of the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

The South Garden’s “Yae-beni-shidare zakura,” double-flowered weeping cherry trees, were donated by the mayor of Sendai. The West Garden’s features include the White Tiger Pond (Byakko-chi), surrounded by 200 species of irises that bloom in June, and the tea house named “Choshin-tei”. The Middle Garden showcases the Garyuro Bridge, named for its resemblance to a lying dragon, with stone pillars that once belonged to the historic Sanjo and Gojo bridges. The East Garden is home to the Taiheikaku and the Seiho-ike Pond.

As a cultural landmark, the gardens host the Jidai Matsuri, an annual parade that honors Kyoto’s storied past with participants in period attire. Designated as a place of scenic beauty, the gardens offer an immersive experience in classical Japanese garden aesthetics.

The best time to visit is during cherry blossom season for an enchanting display. The architecture of the tea houses enhances the reflective journey through Japan’s history.

The Heian Shrine Gardens are a nexus of natural beauty and a window into Japanese history and culture, providing insight into the past amid a serene setting.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Heian Shrine Gardens

T 10

 Kyoto Tozai Line

 10-20 minute walk (1.1km)
KH 41

 Keihan Main Line

 10-20 minute walk (1.4km)

Around Heian Shrine Gardens

Heian Shrine Gardens

Japanese Garden in Kyoto


平安神宮神苑, 京都

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Updated 13 Mar 2024 • Report an error

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