Nanzen-in Temple (南禅院)

Nanzen-in Temple is a sub-temple located within the precinct of Rinzai sect Nanzen-ji school Daihonzan (head temple) Nanzen-ji Temple in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City. It is said to be the origin of Nanzen-ji Temple.

An aqueduct of the Lake Biwa Canal passes the front gate of the temple.


Nanzen-in Temple was founded on the ruins of the 'Uenomiya' villa in which the Emperor Kameyama once resided.

The temple fell into ruin following the Onin War but was rebuilt in 1703 by Keishoin (mother of 5th Tokugawa Shogun, Tsunayoshi TOKUGAWA's).


Hojo (Abbot's quarters)
Rebuilt in 1703 by Keishoin with sliding panel paintings by artists of the Kano school in the inner area.

Mausoleum of Cloistered Emperor Kameyama (under the jurisdiction of the Imperial Household Agency)
A mausoleum standing in the southeastern corner of the garden in which some of ashes of the retired emperor were buried according to his will.


This Japanese style garden with a path around a central pond is said to have been created by the Emperor Kameyama himself and looks amazing during the new greenery of spring and the red leaves of autumn.

Cultural properties

Wooden seated statue of Cloistered Emperor Kameyama (Important Cultural Property)
A sculpture of Cloistered Emperor Kameyama, the kaiki (founding patron) of Nanzen-in Temple, and the oldest surviving statue of an emperor.

Wooden seated statue of Ichizan Ichinei (Important Cultural Property)
A portrait of Ichizan Ichinei, an envoy of the Emperor of Yuan Dynasty China who came to Japan and served at Kencho-ji and Engaku-ji temples in Kamakura before becoming the 3rd head priest of Nanzen-ji Temple, that is said to have been crafted soon after his death.


Walk from Keage Station on the Tozai Line of the Kyoto City Subway.

[Original Japanese]