Isuien Garden, located on the western fringe of Todaji Temple, is beautifully laid out and arguably the best garden in the city. It is divided into two parts, a front garden dating from the mid-17th century, and a rear garden created in the late 19th century by a wealthy merchant. The front garden has a teahouse offering green tea and sweet red bean soup (zenzai), and the rear garden is reputed for its "borrowed landscape" of Todaji Temple's gate and nearby hills as a backdrop to the sprawling lawns.
There is a small museum attached to the garden that displays a collection of pottery and other artefacts from Korea and China. This spot is relatively unknown to tourists and you can enjoy a serene and relaxed atmosphere even at the time of autumn foliage colors.
Airport/Sta.Nara Sta. (about 1.7km) Google Transit
We guide this spot.
5.02 weeks ago
Don't have the words to describe this magnificent beautiful garden... Absolutely must visit place!
5.02 months ago
A stunning garden in the popular city of Nara. Escape the crowds of tourists and lose yourself amongst the perfectly manicured gardens in this little slice of paradise. There is an entrance fee, but it’s well worth it to see this traditional Japanese garden.
5.05 months ago
The most beautiful garden we visited on our 2 week japan holiday. Was even more enjoyable with the free personal guide provided. Entry cost was around 900 yen but well worth it. You won’t find this as a highlight in most guide books but it is a hidden gem which must be seen if you are a fan of botanical gardens
4.0a week ago
Visiting mid-March, one can only imagine the beauty of it during spring and autumn, instead of the cold, colorless sight it has at the moment.
5.0in the last week
A breathtakingly beautiful garden. Quite a large one in fact, as a Japanese scene-borrowing garden (or so it called) that “borrows” the mountains far behind it as the backdrop, the South Great Gate of Todaiji is also sighted from afar, making the garden a microscopic of the Nara terroir. The name Isuien means “depends on water, by the water”, which well capturing the essence of the garden: the flowing water. Water forms two ponds, one in the front garden, the other in the back garden, and little streams and miniatures of water falls are seen everywhere to link everything together and breaks the mundane at the same time. The moss also makes give the garden a soft and tender texture, like the ancient temples in Nara or Kyoto will do. Not many people (well, that’s compared with the number of visitors in Nara) know about the place, which is a shame and a gift at the same time. All in all, a must visit place if you happen to be in the Todaiji area.