Manshuin Monzeki (曼殊院門跡) is a large temple located next to the Shugakuin Imperial Villa in the north east of Kyoto. Manshuin was established in the 8th century by Dengyo Daishi, who also founded Enryaku-ji (延暦寺) and is credited for starting the Tendai sect of Buddhism. Manshuin was originally called 'Tobibo' and was built near Enryaku-ji on Mt. Hiei. Around 1108 it changed its name to Manshuin. Then, 500 years later at the beginning of the Edo period, the temple was moved to its current location when Prince Ryosho was the abbot. It is he who designed the garden and gave the buildings the Shoin style, also found on the Katsura Imerial Villa (he was prince, after all...)
Manshuin has a great number of beautifully painted sliding doors (襖 fusuma) and panels, with each room having a different theme. These rooms are: the Tiger room, the Peacock room, the Waterfall room, the Bamboo room, the Snow room, the Fuji room, the Twilight room and the Round Hearth room. Not all these rooms may be viewable, and it is of course prohibited to photograph to protect the paintings.
The garden of the temple is spacious and made in the 'karesansui' style (lit. 'pond without water'), in other words in 'rock and moss' style. Two islands represent a crane and a tortoise (the same animals as in Konchi-in, among others). The 'crane' island is in the south part of the garden, in front of the 'big shoin hall'. It has a pine tree in the shape of a crane, which is about 400 years old as it was planted when the garden was designed. The tortoise 'island' is in the north part of the garden, in front of the 'small shoin' (the lower single-floor building). It had a tortoise-shaped tree which is now gone. Several azaleas (kirishima tsutsuji) and rhododendrons (satsuki) also give bright colors to the garden in early summer.
From Manshuin, one can easily reach the Shugakuin imperial villa, a few hundred meters north, and then reach another temple, Sekizanzen-in (赤山禅院). Going south for a kilometer will lead you to Enko-ji (圓光寺), Shisen-do (詩仙堂) and Konpuku-ji (金福寺). This series of temples can be done in one day, starting from the southern Konpuku-ji and ending at Sekisanzen-in.
Recommended for: Access:
Nearby: Kansai Seminar House 関西セミナーハウス (240m), Saginomori-jinja 鷺森神社 (420m), Shūgaku-in Imperial Villa 修学院離宮 (550m), Zenka-in 禅華院 (580m), Tea ceremony 茶会 (680m), Enkō-ji 圓光寺 (690m), Nobotoke-an 野仏庵 (730m), Sekizanzen-in 赤山禅院 (830m), Shisen-dō 詩仙堂 (840m), Tanukidani Fudō-in 狸谷不動院 (840m),...
External links: Website, ウィキペディア, Wikipedia, Wikipédia, Kyoto Navi, Trip Advisor, Kyoto Design, 京都風光, Inside Kyoto, Marutake, そうだ京都, Satellite view, Map
Keywords: Japan, 日本, Japon, Kyoto, 京都, 左京区, Sakyo-ku, Manshu-in Monzeki, 曼殊院門跡, temple, 寺院, 仏閣