My short history and a 'secret' garden in Kyoto

   Hello everyone. I’m Saori and this is my very first time to write my blog here. 

   First of all, let me introduce myself a little bit. I used to live by myself in Kyoto for about 3 years when I was a student and I absolutely loved living here. After I’d decided to quit the university though, I found myself with no choice but to go back to my hometown, Hyogo. I was struggling to find a job there, but nothing went right and nothing attracted my interest. I was afraid of getting used to this kind of monotonous life with no stimulation and ending up having to build a life there. As time went by, I gradually began to have a desire to go back to Kyoto again. That's when I had my fateful first encounter with J-Hoppers. I happened to find they had a job vacancy for a night staff at J-Hoppers Kyoto, and I immediately applied for it. I started working here as a night staff at the end of last year and I’m grateful that I was lucky enough to get a chance to become a reception staff ultimately. I’ve never lived abroad nor traveled around the world by myself, so it’s very stimulating for me to meet many tourists who have wonderful personality and unique backgrounds. I feel very privileged to be able to work with lovely and interesting co-workers in this beautiful ancient capital of Kyoto. 
   Well, so much for preliminaries.

   This time, I’d like to introduce you a hidden spot that is seldom mentioned in most guidebooks in Kyoto. 

   Needless to say, there are a number of famous temples, shines and gardens in this city.However, not much is known about the Shinsen-en (神泉苑) or "Divine Spring Garden".Located immediately south of Nijo Castle, Shinsen-en is the oldest existing garden in Kyoto.

    It was originally established for Emperor Kanmu when he relocated the capital from Nagaoka-kyo to Kyoto in 794. In Heian era (794-1185), emperors and aristocrats enjoyed various events and parties, such as boating, flower viewing, writing poetry, archery and even sumo wrestling.

    It used to be a very large garden with a pond (about 500m×240m). Unfortunately, its size was dramatically reduced by Tokugawa Ieyasu, who created and solidified the Tokugawa shogunate(known as Edo period) when he build Nijo Castile.

   If you are a Japanese history freak, I guess you've probably heard about Minamotono Yoshitsune, one of the most famous samurai warriors in the history of Japan. According to the historival legend, Shinsen-en garden said to be the place where he met Shizukagozen, a beautiful female dancer who he had fallen in love with.
   I’m sure you will catch your breath at the beautiful sight of cherry blossoms in spring and autumn leaves in fall.

   If you’re planning to visit Nijo Castle, why don’t you get yourselves down to this beautiful garden?

●Shinsen-en Garden
 Telephone :075-821-1466
Business Hours :All day / Open Seven days
Fee :Free
Address:167 Monzen-cho, Oike-dori Shinsenen-cho higashi-iru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City
*It takes about 30 minutes from Kyoto station by bus. You can also take JR line or the subway line to get there.


Shin said…
Do yo know that the Oike-dori's Oike stands for this pond (=ike) ?

The very precious pond where Kuukai (the founder of the Shingon section) prayed for rain...
saho said…
Oh I do know the story about 'Oike'.It's pretty interesting to know every single name of streets here has a significant meaning which related mostly to the history of kyoto.
Thanks for the comment!

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