Zuishin-in was established by priest Ningai who received approval and land from the emperor in 991. The temple used to be called "Madara-ji", after "Mandala which is a type Buddhist tapestry. Ningai had a dream about his deceased mother being reincarnated in a cow. He found the cow, and when it died Ningai made a mandala using its leather, hence the original temple's name. In 1229 the temple merged with a neighbour and became known as Zuishin-in. As for most temples in Kyoto, Zuishin-in was destroyed in successive feudal wars; most of its buildings are from the 17th or 18th century.
The temple is of a classic style, and doesn't have a specific outstanding feature. The grounds are quite pleasant though, and the lack of crowd makes it a nice stop on the way to, say, Daigo-ji. Oh, but I forgot. It does have something special: between the inner and outer walls is a large garden of small plum trees, the "Ono garden" (小野梅庭). Very beautiful if you pick the right time in March to visit it.
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Nearby: Miyaji-jinja 宮道神社 (750m), Bukkō-in 佛光院 (750m), Rishō-in 理性院 (760m), Sanpo-in 三宝院 (830m), Kajū-ji 勧修寺 (860m), Daigo-ji 醍醐寺 (980m)
External links: Website, ウィキペディア, Kyoto Navi, Kyoto Design, 京都風光, Marutake, そうだ京都, Satellite view, Map
Keywords: Japan, 日本, Japon, Kyoto, 京都, 山科, Yamashina, 隨心院, Zuishin-in, temple, 寺院, 仏閣