Being a sub-temple of Nanzen-ji, Nanzen-in (南禅院) shares part of its history and was also founded when emperor Kameyama converted a palace into a temple at this location. The current temple buildings were built in 1703 after the previous construction was destroyed in the Onin war.
Nanzen-in's name is very close to its "mother temple" Nanzen-ji, and as both "-in" and "-ji" mean "temple" the meanings are very similar too. In fact, "ji-in" (寺院) is used as a generic name for temples in Japan, even though the "ji" (寺) is sufficient. "-in" (院) is used in many other words though, such as hospital "byou-in" (病院), simply because the original meaning of "-in" was "tall wall/fence surrounding a group of building". Anyway...
To reach this sub-temple, simply take the stairs that climb behind the aqueduct. The garden consists in three parts: a moss surface in front of the temple hall, a pond in the back of the garden and a path that circles the pond. The garden is simple and minimalist, and is also quiet for most tourists go see Nanzen-ji and the more popular sub-temples. Adding to this feeling is the fact that the temple is closely surrounded by the forest, which makes its precinct visually shrink.
Recommended for: Access:
Nearby: Saishō-in 最勝院 (120m), Tenju-an 天授庵 (130m), Nanyō-in 南陽院 (220m), Dainei-ken 大寧軒 (280m), Konchi-in 金地院 (300m), Seiryu-tei 清流亭 (420m), Eikan-dō 永観堂 (450m), Murin-an 無鄰菴 (620m), Kōun-ji 光雲寺 (750m), Awata-jinja 粟田神社 (810m),...
External links: ウィキペディア, Kyoto Navi, Trip Advisor, 京都風光, そうだ京都, Satellite view, Map
Keywords: Japan, 日本, Japon, Kyoto, 京都, 左京区, Sakyo-ku, Nanzen-ji, 南禅寺, 瑞龍山南禅寺, temple, 寺院, 仏閣, 南禅院, Nanzen-in, subtemple, 塔頭