The highlights and how to get to Yotoku-in.

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Yotoku-in (養徳院) is one of the sub-temples (塔頭:tatchu) of Myoshin-ji (妙心寺) which is located in Hanazono, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City.

Myoshin-ji is the biggest Zen temple in Japan, and it has a total of 48 sub-temples.
And Yotoku-in is also one of these sub-temples.

Among those sub-temples, only Keishun-in, Taizo-in, and Daishin-in are open to the public on a regular basis.
Yotoku-in is only open to the public on specific days (not fixed).

The highlight of this temple is a hanging scroll (掛軸) which was written in classical Chinese called ‘Shucharon (酒茶論)‘.
It was written by Ranshuku Genshu (蘭叔玄秀) who was one of the priest of the Zen Buddhism in the Azuchi-Momoyama period (安土桃山時代).
And the following sentences are written on it.

Zen mondo (riddles) : As for the liquor and the tea, which is more beneficial for a human being?’

If you want to know the answer to this ‘Zen mondo (riddles)‘, please visit this temple.

So, I visited Yotoku-in this time.

Contents:

  1. The history of Yotoku-in
  2. The history of Myoshin-ji (the main temple of Yotoku-in)
  3. About Yotoku-in
  4. Information for visitors
  5. The highlights of Yotoku-in
  6. The photos of Yotoku-in
  7. The goshuin (red seal) of Yotoku-in
  8. How to get to Yotoku-in
  9. Hotel search & reservation around Yotoku-in

1.The history of Yotoku-in

Let’s study the history of this sub-temple with me before introducing of Yotoku-in (養徳院).
I think that we can enjoy the sightseeing of this sub-temple more by learning the history of it. XD

Yotoku-in was founded in 1583 of the Azuchi-Momoyama period by Mitsushige ISHIKAWA (石川光茂) who was a busho (a Japanese military commander) of the Owari Domain (尾張藩).
(He served Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI (豊臣秀吉) who was making progress towards unifying the country.)
When the foundation of this temple, he invited Kotaku Sokun (功沢宗勲) who was the chief priest of Myoshin-ji as founding priest.

‘ISHIKAWA’…!?

I have heard this family name somewhere…
Yes, when I wrote an article of Daio-in (大雄院) which is the neighbouring temple of this temple, I introduced a military commander named Mitsutada ISHIKAWA (石川光忠).
Mitsushige was the grandfather of Mitsutada ISHIKAWA.

He founded Yotoku-in to pray for the repose of his father’s soul.
So, this temple is also one of the family temple of ISHIKAWA clan.

By the way, this temple is owning a hanging scroll which was written in classical Chinese called ‘Shucharon (酒茶論)‘.

This hanging scroll (掛軸) was written by Ranshuku Genshu (蘭叔玄秀) who was one of the priest of the Zen Buddhism in the Azuchi-Momoyama period.
The Rinzai sect (臨済宗) that this temple belongs to regards ‘Zen mondo (riddles)‘ in particular as important in the buddhist training.
So, the following sentences are written on it.

‘Zen mondo (riddles) : As for the liquor and the tea, which is more beneficial for a human being?’

Which is your answer? ‘liquor’? or ‘tea’?
Of course my answer is a ‘liquor’… XD

Then, what is the official answer to this Zen mondo (riddles)?

In fact, in this Zen mondo (riddles), it has the another character.
It is the ‘water’.

The ‘water’ said the following sentences.

‘If there is not water, we can’t make both the tea and the liquor.’
‘Therefore water is the most beneficial.’

In this way, this debate was over because water arbitrated it.

It means to probe the true nature of something.

2.The history of Myoshin-ji (the main temple of Yotoku-in)

If you want to know the history of Myoshin-ji, please read following article.

3.About Yotoku-in

Open:10:00 ~ 16:00
Admission fee(special admission):600 yen
Address:53, Hanazono Myoshinjicho, Ukyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 616-8035, Japan
Phone number:+81-75-463-3121 (Myoshin-ji)
Foundation:1583
Founder:Mitsushige ISHIKAWA (石川光茂)
Sect:Rinzai sect Myoshin-ji School (臨済宗妙心寺派)
Principal image:Shakamuni-butsu (釈迦牟尼仏)

Yotoku-in (養徳院) is one of the sub-temples (塔頭:tatchu) of Myoshin-ji (妙心寺) which is located in Hanazono, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City.
yotokuin-04

It is only open to the public on specific days (not fixed).  (usually not open to the public)
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These sub-temples have a distinctive charm that big temple does not have.
So, when you go to Myoshin-ji, I recommend that you go to these sub-temples as well.
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An admission fee during the special admission period of 2017 was 600 yen (Adult).
yotokuin-05

Next, let’s go to see the highlights of Yotoku-in!!
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4.Information for visitors

・It is only open to the public on specific days (not fixed).

・Photography and video recording are prohibited inside the building of this temple. 

・Monopod/Tripods and stepladders are prohibited in this temple.

・The worship method of a Shinto shrine and a Buddhist temple, please refer to the following article.


5.The highlights of Yotoku-in

This mark ‘*‘ is a pay area.

●表門:Omote-mon (gate)

This is the Omote-mon (gate) which has the role as a entrance of this temple.
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本堂*:Hon-do*

This is the Hon-do.
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This building was rebuilt in 1859 of the Edo period.
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The hanging scroll (掛軸) which was written by Ranshuku Genshu (蘭叔玄秀) who was one of the priest of the Zen Buddhism in the Azuchi-Momoyama period is displayed in this building.
yotokuin-07-2

In addition, ‘Taka-no-zu (hanging scroll of the hawk picture)’ which was drawn by Chokuan SOGA (曽我直庵) who is a painter in the Momoyama period is displayed in a back room of Hon-do.
(I extracted this photo from a brochure.)
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庭園*:The garden*

An entrance of the garden is the Karesansui garden (Japanese rock garden).
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The backside of the garden is the Kaiyu style garden (circuit style garden).
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A lot of big rocks are arranged in the Japanese-style garden.
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十三重塔*:Thirteen-storied pagoda*

This is the thirteen-storied pagoda.
The odd number is a lucky number in Japan from old days.
So, number of the hierarchy of the buddhist tower (pagoda) is always the odd number like a five-storied pagoda and a three-storied pagoda.
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石川家墓所*:Grave of the Ishikawa family*

Because this it is one of the family temple of ISHIKAWA clan, there is the grave of the Ishikawa family in the precincts of this temple.
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6.The photos of Yotoku-in

■Flickr:養徳院:Yotoku-in(20170220)
養徳院:Yotoku-in(20170220)

7.The goshuin (red seal) of Yotoku-in

The goshuin of this temple is “Shakamuni-butsu (釈迦牟尼仏)” which is the principal image of this temple.
We can get this goshuin in the reception desk of the entrance. (300 yen)
yotokuin-05-3

8.How to get to Yotoku-in

How to get to Yotoku-in is as follows.
It is located in the precincts of Myoshin-ji.

The nearest station of Yotoku-in is “JR Hanazono Station” or “Randen Kitano Line Myoshin-ji Station”.
(We can also go by bus from ‘JR Kyoto Station’, ‘Hankyu Kawaramachi Station’, and ‘Keihan Gion-Shijo Station’.)

  Timetable and Route Search

■Route Example (From Osaka Station to JR Hanazono Station)
myoshinji-01-en

■Route Example (From Namba Station to JR Hanazono Station)
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■Route Example (From Kyoto Station to JR Hanazono Station)
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■When you go on foot from JR Hanazono Station

It’s about 6 minutes (400m) on foot.

■When you go on foot from Randen Kitano Line Myoshin-ji Station

It’s about 5 minutes (300m) on foot.

■When you get on a bus from JR Kyoto Station

  Timetable and Route Search of bus

・Kyoto Sta.[D3]

・Routes/Destination:26/Bound for Omuro Ninnaji Temple


Bus company:Kyoto City Bus
Routes/Destination:26/Bound for Omuro Ninnaji Temple
Boarding bus stop:Kyoto Sta.[D3]
Alighting bus stop:Myoshinji Kitamon-mae (Myoshinji Temple)
Bus fare:230 yen
Time required:About 42 min

■When you get on a bus from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station

  Timetable and Route Search of bus

・Kyoto City Bus Shijo Kawaramachi [A]

・Routes/Destination:10/Bound for Kitano-tenmangu Shrine


Bus company:Kyoto City Bus
Routes/Destination:10/Bound for Kitano-tenmangu Shrine
Boarding bus stop:Shijo Kawaramachi [A]
Alighting bus stop:Myoshinji Kitamon-mae (Myoshinji Temple)
Bus fare:230 yen
Time required:About 43 min

・Kyoto Bus Shijo Kawaramachi

・Routes/Destination:63/Bound for Arashiyama


Bus company:Kyoto Bus
Routes/Destination:63/Bound for Arashiyama
Boarding bus stop:Shijo Kawaramachi
Alighting bus stop:Myoshinji-mae (Myoshinji Temple)
Bus fare:230 yen
Time required:About 34 min

・Routes/Destination:65/Bound for Arisugawa

Bus company:Kyoto Bus
Routes/Destination:65/Bound for Arisugawa
Boarding bus stop:Shijo Kawaramachi
Alighting bus stop:Myoshinji-mae (Myoshinji Temple)
Bus fare:230 yen
Time required:About 34 min

■When you get on a bus from Keihan Gion-Shijo Station

  Timetable and Route Search of bus

・Shijo Keihan-mae [C]

・Routes/Destination:10/Bound for Kitano-tenmangu Shrine

Bus company:Kyoto City Bus
Routes/Destination:10/Bound for Kitano-tenmangu Shrine
Boarding bus stop:Shijo Keihan-mae [C]
Alighting bus stop:Myoshinji Kitamon-mae (Myoshinji Temple)
Bus fare:230 yen
Time required:About 40 min

■When you take a taxi

From Kyoto Station:2,610 yen ~ 3,210 yen (about 20 minutes)
From Gion-Shijo Station:2,450 yen ~ 2,910 yen (about 15 minutes)

・Let’s show a taxi driver the following phrase.

myoshinji-35

・If you want to call a taxi, let’s show the following phrase.
taxi-call

[Phone number of taxi dispatch : Around the Kyoto Station]*Japanese text only.

9.Hotel search & reservation around Yotoku-in

How did you like it?

Please try to go to this temple.

Have a nice trip! XD

<Let’s search the sightseeing information of Kansai in Japan on ‘Japan’s Travel Manual‘!!>
<This site introduces the easiest way to get Japanese (Kansai) sightseeing spots to you.>

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