Summer: June - Sep

Kyoto’s 3 Best Gardens in Rainy Season in 2024

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Japan has a rainy season, with Kyoto experiencing daily showers from late May to early July. While this is often considered a dreary time of year, it also has its own unique charm. Japanese gardens, especially those with moss as a central feature, come alive during the rainy season, as the moss takes on a vibrant emerald hue. In addition, Hydrangeas are a symbol of the rainy season, and their beauty is enhanced when they are drenched in rain. 

Here are top 3 Japanese gardens in Kyoto that can be enjoyed during the rainy season.

Murin-an

View from the tea house in Murin-an Garden
View from the tea house in Murin-an Garden

Murin-an, located in the eastern part of Kyoto, was originally built in 1896 as a villa for Yamagata Aritomo, who was a prominent statesman during Japan’s Meiji Restoration. The garden is a harmonious blend of traditional Japanese architecture, including a main house, a Western-style building, and a teahouse, all set in a serene Japanese garden.

Strolling garden

Strolling garden in Murin-an
Strolling garden in Murin-an

The garden is a strolling garden that can be walked around, and is consists only of moss, lawn, and trees growing on the mountain. The background of Higashiyama in the back landscapes gives the impression of depth, as if it extends from there, and a stream flows through it, creating a landscape like a mountain stream. As the owner, Yamagata Aritomo, said that the garden is most beautiful on a rainy day, especially in the rainy season, when the moss and new leaves of the maple trees turn a beautiful green color and the whole garden is fantastical. In addition, a special ticket pattern is distributed on rainy days, and sweets in the shape of raindrops are also served.

Information

Open Hours
Visits to Murin-an require reservations and are by the hour.
Please make your reservation through the following link.
https://select-type.com/rsv/index.php

PeriodTime
April to September9:00a.m. – 6:00p.m.
October to March9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.
*Closed from December 29th to December 31st

Entrance Fee

PeriodPrice
Excluding the period mentioned below600yen
Marchi 29th-31st,
April 1st-14th, 27th-30th,
May 1st-31st
September 28th-30th,
October 14th-21st
November 1st, 4th-8th, 11th-14th,
December 1st-7th
900yen
November 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 15th-30th1,300yen
*Children under the age of kindergarten are free

Adress
〒606-8437 Kyoto, Sakyo Ward, Nanzenji Kusakawacho, 31

Link

Official website
https://murin-an.jp/en/

Kenninji Temple

Entrance gate in Kenninji temple
Entrance gate in Kenninji temple

Kenninji Temple, located in the eastern part of Kyoto, is the main temple of the Kenninji School of the Rinzai sect. The temple’s name comes from the fact that the year it was built, 1202, was the second year of the Kennin era.

With over 800 years of history, the temple complex encompasses the main hall and numerous sub-temples. Honbo( the main hall) houses a treasure trove of artifacts, including the Raijin and Fujin (wind and thunder deities) screens, dragon fusuma (sliding doors), and a double dragon ceiling.

Daioen garden

Daioen (Japanese dry garden) in Kenninji temple
Daioen (Japanese dry garden) in Kenninji temple

Kenninji Temple has a variety of gardens, the most notable of which is the vast Japanese dry garden in Honbo, called Daioen. Centered around the Karamon Gate (wavy roof gate), this serene expanse is adorned with meticulously arranged stones, green moss, and stately black pines on either side. Visitors can admire the garden’s tranquil beauty of the garden from the veranda of the main hall, where time seems to slip away as they immerse themselves in the peaceful ambiance.

Information

Open Hours
10:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.
*The reception close at 4:30p.m.

Entrance fee

Honbo(Main hall)

Adults800yen
Students from high school to elementary school500yen
Children under the age of elementary schoolFree

Adress
〒605-0811 Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, Komatsucho, 584

Link

Official Website
https://www.kenninji.jp(Only Japanese text)

Umenomiya Shrine

Entrance gate in Umenomiya Shrine
Entrance gate in Umenomiya Shrine

Umemiya Shrine is located just one train stop away from Arashiyama, Kyoto’s second most popular tourist destination. This venerable shrine, with over 750 years of history, pays homage to the deitySake no Kami( sake brewing) , and the goddess Konohana Sakuyahime, who is revered for her role in safe childbirth.

Shinsen-tei Garden

Hydrangeas in Umenomiya shrine
Hydrangeas in Umenomiya shrine

Umenomiya Shrine has about 12,000yd2 of a Japanese strolling garden called Shinsen-tei Garden. Centered around a large pond called Sayake-ike, it features a thatched-roof house in the middle of the pond and a Japanese-style building called Sanshuden, creating a peaceful atmosphere. The Umenomiya, which means plum trees in the palace, literally has plum trees, with 35 varieties and 400 trees planted. Hydrangeas are also famous, with 120 varieties and 1,300 plants. Hydrangeas bloom for a long period from mid-May to early July during the rainy season. At the same time of year, irises also bloom along the water’s edge.

Information

Open hours
9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.

Entrance fee
Adults 600yen
Children 400yen

Adress
30 Umezu Fukenokawacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 615-0921

Link

Official Website
http://www.umenomiya.or.jp(Only Japanese text)

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