About Taizo-in

The temple of Taizo-in has been beloved by people for more than 600 years. Its appeal stems from each and every one of its unique treasures: the dry landscape garden by Kano Motonobu, Josetsu’s masterpiece, Hyonenzu (“Catching a Catfish with a Gourd”), one of Japan’s oldest surviving ink paintings, the Yoko-en (a pond-and-stroll-style garden), and a suikinkutsu, a wash basin in which drops of water echo clearly in a hidden underground chamber. These historic treasures will fascinate any visitor to the temple.

Kyoto has long been the heart of Zen Buddhism culture in Japan. Zazen is mediation in silence and stillness. The arts of sadoh (tea ceremony) and kadoh (flower arranging) developed concurrently with and are inseparable from Zen. Zen temple cuisine, shojin ryori, goes beyond simple vegetarian cooking by incorporating the true spirit and essence of Zen. You can experience all of these aspects of Zen at Taizo-in. Surely you cannot find a more enriching experience even if you search the world over.

We hope that when you visit central Kyoto, you will visit us at Taizo-in and submerge your mind and body in the ways of Zen.


Taizo-in Zen Buddhist Temple is the oldest and most prominent sub-temple among the fifty or so sub-temples situated in the Myoshin-ji Temple District. Dating back to the Muromachi Period (1333-1573), Taizo-in was founded by Muinsoin, a well-respected Zenji (Zen master), who served the third head priest of Myoshin-ji Temple back then. Taizo-in Temple was built by Hatano Izumo Shigemichi, who was deeply devoted to Muinsoin Zenji. Around this time, Myonshin-ji was renamed “Ryuun-ji” due to the suppressive rule of the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1408), and many head priests were unfortunately forced to leave their sub-temples. With virtuous reputation across the city of Kyoto, Muinsoin Zenji was invited to Daitoku-ji Temple; however, he refused the offer and instead went into retirement at Kaisei-ji Temple and avoided to be involved in power struggle. Taizo-in and Myoshin-ji were both burned down during the Onin War Period –this civil war originated in rivalry between men in power and occurred in the central Kyoto in 1467 and lasted for 10 years. After the war, Taizo-in Temple was rebuilt by Kinen Zenji.

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