Sokushu-in was originally built in 1196 as the retirement villa of a court noble of the Fujiwara clan. The temple was built on the villa grounds by the 54th abbot of Tofuku-ji in 1387. Since then Sokushu-in is a sub-temple of the Tofuku-ji temple complex.
During the last days of the Tokugawa shogunate, famous samurai Saigo Takamori is said to have hid in this temple's tea house before an attack against the shogunate forces that took place on the hill at the back of the temple. Nowadays, a path goes around the temple grounds up to the summit of the hill where commemorative graves have been set for the 524 men who died during this event of the Battle of Toba-Fushimi.
Sokushu-in is best visited during the autumn, which is in fact the only season where it opens. The garden is not extraordinary but is a pleasant place to escape the hordes of tourists found in the other parts of Tofuku-ji. Sokushu-in is located next to Ryogin-an (龍吟庵), which is definitely a better place to visit if your time is limited.
Recommended for: Access:
Nearby: Ryōgin-an 龍吟庵 (70m), Kaizan-dō 開山堂 (160m), Ikkai-in 一華院 (270m), Tentoku-in 天得院 (280m), Tōkō-ji 東光寺 (310m), Funda-in 芬陀院 (320m), Goshanotaki Jinja 五社之瀧神社 (360m), Shōrin-ji 勝林寺 (360m), Reiun-in 霊雲院 (370m), Kōmyō-in 光明院 (370m),...
External links: Website, Kyoto Navi, 京都風光, そうだ京都, Satellite view, Map
Keywords: Japan, 日本, Japon, Kyoto, 京都, 東山, Higashiyama, Tofuku-ji, 東福寺, temple, 寺院, 仏閣, 即宗院, Sokushu-in, subtemple, 塔頭