Japan Travel Guide
The Yamasa Institute
Edited by: Declan Murphy
Favorite Nara moments...
Best ways to get there
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The Neiraku Museum and Isuien Garden complex is a good place to take a break from temple viewing and to experience the tranquility and unique landscape of a traditional Japanese garden. It is a bit off the main tourist path, nestled in a residential neighborhod just west of Todaiji's Nandaimon (Great Southern Gate). In contrast to the busy crowds near Todaiji, the Isuien Gardens are quiet and relaxing. The gardens may not be the easiest destination to find in Nara, but it is well worth the effort.
|Isuien Front Garden|
The front garden was once a part of the "Manishu-In" which belonged to Kofuku-ji Temple. In the Enpo era (1670's) the wealthy Kiyosumi family bought the area and changed the layout of the garden. They constructed a villa consisting of two thatched roof houses (Sanshu-tei and Tei-shu-ken) and often invited their literary friends, artists and people of refined taste to enjoy the tea cermony and the beauty of the garden. The front garden seems to encourage the visitor to look inward, towards the center. This feeling is re-enforced as you descend the stone steps and are drawn into to the peaceful environment. The focus here is on the central pond and the arrangement of the lush greenery around it. As you circle the pond, the path leads you away from the introspective front garden and towards the back. This path meanders through a small forest, past the small Teishu-ken tea ceremony house and into the rear garden.
|Isuien Rear Garden|
As you leave the gardens you will pass by the Seishu-an tea ceremony house. It is a duplicate of the famous Yuin-seki tea ceremony house of the Ura Senke School of Tea Ceremony. The 12th Head Master of this school was in charge of the planning and design of the Yuin-seki, and the tea house reflects the tea ceremony aesthetic.
|Ceramic display in Neiraku Museum|
How to get to Isuien Garden and Neiraku Museum
1: From Kintetsu Nara Station:
Take Hanna Road (the main street in front of the Kintetsu station) and walk east toward Nara Koen. Continue on this road until you see the Nara Prefectural Office. Turn left (North) at this intersection. Follow this road and take your first right (east). You will be in a small street that will lead you to the Garden entrance.
Tours - The Japan Discovery Tours visits Neiraku Museum and Isuien Garden
Click here for more information regarding when Discovery visits this destination.
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Disclaimer and Request:
Opening hours, prices, booking procedures, schedules etc are subject to changes beyond our control. This site is just a guide, and we advise that you always check and confirm in advance. Suggestions, additions and correction of errors are always welcome. Please contact us.
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