A shrine complex with beautiful gardens in southern Kyoto
Jonangu Shrine, build it the year 794, is a relic of the Heian aristocratic era. It sits in southern Kyoto and is often praised for its beautiful expansive gardens. Historically speaking, Jonangu was where the civil war began between the shogunate and imperial family, which ultimately led to the beginning of the Meiji Era. While it’s an old shrine, it has plenty of free festivals; that was the purpose of our most recent visit.
Rakusuien, the Garden at Jonangu Shrine
What’s happening in the gardens? It’s true that many people come here specifically to see the Rakusuien garden. The pricing is fair, 600 yen for adults and 400 yen for children. The peak period for garden-viewing is March to April, but it’s beautiful year-round. You might want to check their official site for what’s in bloom, since the times can vary by year.
When you enter, you’ll see that the garden is divided into five sections. Each has its own distinctive flavor. Between two of the gardens is a tea house called Rakusuiken, where you can eat jo-namagashi and drink macha, served by shrine maidens. Very Kyoto indeed.
Festivals at Jonangu Shrine
And last but not least, the festivals! Like many other shrines, you can enjoy their festivals for free. You can see their festival calendar here.