Nanzenji Temple in Kyoto Has a Beautiful Backdrop and Delicious Food | FAST JAPAN
Nanzenji Temple

Nanzenji Temple in Kyoto Has a Beautiful Backdrop and Delicious Food

Nanzenji Temple is a Zen Buddhist Temple in Kyoto. The precincts are a nationally designated historic site and the Hojo Gardens are a place of scenic beauty. Don't miss this peaceful temple in Kyoto.

Nanzenji Temple

Nanzenji Temple

Nanzenji Temple in Kyoto prospered during the Muromachi period. At Nanzenji Templem the Chokushi-mon, San-mon, and Hodo are located in a straight line and there are 12 sub towers.

Nanzenji Temple

Nanzenji Temple

San-mon is the main gate at Nanzenji Temple and it is designated as an Important Cultural Property since the Meiji period. It was built in 1628 by Todo Takatora in memory of those who died in Osaka Natsu no Jin (Summer Siege of Osaka). The original gate was burnt down by a fire in the Muromachi period and the temple was rebuilt afterwards. The view from the top of the gate is marvelous and well-known.

Nanzenji Temple

Suirokaku at Nanzenji Temple was built in 1890 for the purpose of delivering water from Lake Biwa to the town of Kyoto. It is said that it played an important role in the industrial development in Kyoto. This place was used for a lot of dramas and television commercials, thanks to the modern western building and an elegant atmosphere. At the same time of the completion, the first hydraulic power plant was built in Japan.

Nanzenji Temple

Nanzenin is said to be the origin of Nanzenji temple. The current one was built by the mother of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi (Shogun), Keishouin in the Edo period. It is well matched with the surrounding natural landscape and it’s worth checking out. It also has a Japanese circuit-style garden made in the Kamakura period. It is the only outstanding garden in Kyoto from that period.

Nanzenji Temple

There are a couple of gardens at Nanzenji Temple grounds. Although each of them has their own theme and unique structure, Hojo Garden is especially famous. It was made by Kobori Enshu in the early Edo period. Due to the distribution of rocks, this garden is often called “Leaping Tiger Garden”. Wide sand space, six rocks and trees gather at a corner, which makes it quiet and elegant.

Nanzenji Temple

Nanzenji Temple

Tenjuan is a sub temple of Nanzenji Temple. It is famous for the beautiful view of autumn leaves during the season. It was destroyed by fire or other reasons, the current building was rebuilt by Hosokawa Yushin in 1602. Autumn leaves in the daytime are of course beautiful, but those lit up in the night time are even more beautiful and impressive.
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Nanzenji Temple

Address: 86 Nanzenjifukuchi-cho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture

Access: 10 minute walk from Keage Station

8:40 AM – 4:30 PM (December – February)
8:40 AM – 5:00 PM (March – November)

Entrance Fee:
Hojo Garden and San-mon each
500 yen (Adults)
400 yen (Children)

300 yen (Adults)
250 yen (Children)

Phone: 075-771-0365

Website: Nanzenji Temple (Japanese)


Yu-dofu (Boiled Tofu)


A specialty dish from this temple is “yu-dofu”. Yu-dofu is bean curd boiled in broth. It is believed that this dish originated from Kanjin dish (dish for donation) around Nanzenji Temple. This area is famous for boiled tofu.

#1. Okutan

Photo Credit:hiro kobashi@flickr

Okutan is one of the most famous yu-dofu restaurants, which started in the early Edo period and has a history of over 370 years. The taste and the atmosphere of the restaurant have not changed since it opened. A lot of fans stand in a queue at lunch time, waiting for yu-dofu that almost melts in the mouth. Water and beans used for the tofu come from the Kitahira district in Shiga prefecture and all the yu-dofu is handmade in the underground factory.
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Address: 86-30 Fukuchi-cho, Nanzenji, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture

Access: 10 minute walk from Keage Station

Hours: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Phone: 075-771-8709

Website: –

Tabelog: Okutan


#2. Junsei

Photo Credit:Junsei

Yu-dofu served at this restaurant is filing and has a good reputation. The view looking out from the restaurant is also popular and beautiful. This restaurant was established in 1962 and the history is not too long, but the building itself was built in the Edo period and was designated as a Tangible Cultural Property.
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Address: Nanzenjimon-mae, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture

Access: 5 minute walk from Keage Station

Hours: 11:00 AM – 9:30 PM

Phone: 075-761-2311

Website: Junsei


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