About Ikkyuji temple


Kyotanabe City has a border with Osaka Prefecture and Mt. Kannabi in a westward direction and the clear waters of the Kizu River expands eastward. Since ancient times, this area has developed as an intersection between Yamato Kaidō which leads to Kyoto from Nara, and an old highway which leads to Osaka from Nagoya. Shūon-an Ikkyū-dera temple is located in a village which was called Takigimisono-shō in previous times.

Brief History

Shūon-an Ikkyū-dera was originally called, Myōshō-ji, its origin goes back to Daiou-Kokushi (also known as Nanpo Jyōumyōu), a high priest from Rinzai sect of Buddhism, who returned from practice in the Tang-dynasty era China to build the Zen training monastery here. However, the temple was caught up in the war during Genkō era and was severely devastated. In Kōshō era (1455-6), Ikkyū Zenshi (the master of Zen), who is a sixth generation of Daiou-Kokushi’s disciple, restored the temple to admire relics of its founder and was renamed Shūon-an to “repay a kindness of master”.

Ikkyū Zenshi lived the second half of his life in Shūon-an. Even after he was elected as an abbot of Daitokuji-temple when he was 81 years old, Ikkyū remained in Shūon-an as his principal place.

Before the time around the Meiji Restoration, the name Shūon-an was noted on formal documents. Today the temple is widely known as Ikkyū-dera since it is closely linked with Ikkyū Zenshi, who is loved and respected by ordinary Japanese people. Shūon-an is a government-designated historical beauty spot that has 9 Important Cultural Properties of Japan including the main hall, the abbot’s hall and the seated Ikkyū Oshō statue.

Ikkyū Sōjun

Ikkyū Sōjun, the Muromachi era Zen Buddhist monk from the Daitoku-ji branch of Rinzai school, was born in Kyoto in 1394.

Ikkyū Sōjun, who is said to be the illegitimate child of emperor Go-Komatsu, initiated at Ankoku-ji temple in Kyoto and was given a name of Shūken. His talents in Chinese poetry blossomed at a young age, he composed “Chōmon-shunsō” at the age of 13, and “Shun-i-shukka” at the age of 15. These two pieces of Chinese poetry created a sensation among people in Rakuchū (old city of Kyoto).

Ikkyū led a vagabond life without sticking to Śīla (one of three sections of the Noble Eightfold Path) in Buddhism or authoritarianism, he is seen as an embodiment of Zen-oriented spirit of Fukyō (A Buddhist terminology which affirmatively accepts aberrational behaviors as an expression of Buddhahood), which can be recalled to Zen monks in Tang-dynasty era China. That is why his humanized way of life resonated with many generations of Japanese citizens. Ikkyū also wrote a number of exquisite collections of poems such as “Kyō-un-shū”, “Zoku-Kyō-un-shū”, “Jikai-shū” and “Gaikotsu”, today he is known as one of the most typical figures that represents Higashiyama Culture.

Experiencing a life full of twists and turns, Ikkyū finally settled down in Shūon-an with great affection until his jijaku (death) at the old age of 88. The mausoleum of Ikkyū is in Shūon-an and is under the jurisdiction and custody of government's Imperial Household Agency since he is an Imperial prince of the emperor Go-Komatsu.

"Japan, the Beautiful and Myself" translated by Edward George Seidensticker

He sought, by eating fish and drinking spirits and having commerce with women, to go beyond the rules and proscriptions of the Zen of his day, and to seek liberation from them, and thus, turning against established religious forms, he sought in the pursuit of Zen the revival and affirmation of the essence of life, of human existence, in a day civil war and moral collapse.

— Yasunari Kawabata on Ikkyū

Nobel Lecture, “Japan, the Beautiful and Myself”, December 12, 1968

Reception Information

Shuon-an Ikkyu-ji

102 Takigi Satonouchi, Kyotanabe-City, 610-0341 Kyoto Prefecture
Phone 0774-62-0193 (Reception Hours: 09:00 - 17:30)
Opening Hours: 09:00 - 17:00 (Treasury House is open from 09:30 - 16:30)

Entrance Fees

Adult: 500yen (middle school students and higher)
Child: 250yen

Adult (group participants): 450yen
Child (group participants): 225yen

Advanced reservations required for guided tour.
We are sorry, but the guide is only available in Japanese.


There are some uneven grounds or steps in the temple.
No pets allowed in the temple grounds.

General Access


102 Takigi Satonouchi, Kyotanabe-City, 610-0341 Kyoto Prefecture
Phone 0774-62-0193 (Reception Hours: 09:00 - 17:30)
Opening Hours: 09:00 - 17:00 (Tresury House is open from 09:30 - 16:30)

By Car

From Kyoto

Drive south along Horikawa Street to take Hanshin Expressway Kyoto and Second Keihan Expressway and New Meishin Expressway .Get off at Tanabe Nishi Interchange and drive along R307 toward Kyotanabe-City and turn left at City Hall crossing,After 5minutes you’ll find Ikkyuuji signboard on your left side.

From Osaka

Get off Second Keihan Highway at Hirakata Gakken Interchange and turn right at the crossing which is just off the exit ramp. Drive along R307 toward Kyotanabe-City and turn left at City Hall crossing. After 5 minutes you'll find Ikkyu-ji signboard on your left side.

Parking Area

Passenger car: 300yen
Microbus / Midsize bus: 500yen
Tourist coach: 800yen

From diverse areas

By Train

Getting to Ikkyu-ji from nearest station

* From Kintetsu Shin-Tanabe Station: 1.5km / 25 minutes (approx.) by walk / 5 minutes (approx.) by taxi
* From JR Kyotanabe Station: 1km
* From Keihan Bus "Ikkyu-ji" bus stop or “Ikkyugaoka” bus stop: 5 minutes (approx.) by walk. Board Keihan Bus
 at Kintetsu Kyotanabe Station West Exit.

We recommend to take taxi or Keihan bus from Kintetsu Shin-Tanabe Stations. It is possible to walk from these stations as well, but there are some uphills and narrow roads on the way to Ikkyu-ji temple.

You can board a taxi and Keihan bus at Kintetsu Shin0Tanabe sation (West Exit).

From diverse areas

From Kyoto Areas

From Kyoto Areas

From Osaka Areas

By Bus

Keihan bus : http://www.keihanbus.jp/express/namba/

Temple Grounds

Soumon, The Main Gate

Sando, Approach

Sojyun Obyou, The Tomb of Ikkyu Zenshi

Kuri, Kitchen / Tousu, Water Closet / Karamon, Gate with Chinese-Styled Roof

Hojyo, The Temple Master's Dwelling Place

Ikkyu Zenshi Mokuzo, The Seated Ikkyū Oshō Wooden Statue

Fusuma-e, The Painting on Fusuma Doory

Hojyo Teien Nantei, Hojyo Garden (South)

Hojyo Teien Toutei, Garden (East)

Hojyo Teien Hokutei, Garden (North)

Soumon Hondo (Hodo), The Main Hall

Kaizando, The Hall of the Originator

Kokyu-an, The Tea Ceremony House

Shoro, The Bell Tower / Yokusitsu, Bathroom

Houbutuden, The Treasury House

Kyu-Bochi, Old Tombs

Sanbonsugi, Three Ceder Trees

Shonen Ikkyu-zo, The Statue of Ikkyu's Boyhood

Ikkyu Osho-hi, The Cenotaph of Ikkyu Osho

Visitor's Guide for the Temple Grounds


Annual Events

Ikkyu Zenzai’s Day (The last Sunday of January)

In tribute to Ikkyu Zenshi, who was born on January 1st, we hold this memorial event in January every year. People who attend this event write their year's wishes on Ema (wooden plaque) and offer prayer and dedication. After the event, Zenzai (sweet red-bean soup) is served for those who attend.

Nehan-e (15th March)

On 15th March every year, we hold Buddhist memorial service in remembrance of Gautama Buddha‘s death. The Nehan-zu (Nirvana’s portrait), which portrays the scene of Gautama Buddha's end of lifetime under the sal tree, are raised at Hojyo.

Bakuryo Kannon-sanjyusansinzu unveiling (15th - 16th August)

On 15th - 16th of August every year, Kakejiku (Hanging Scrolls) of "Kannon-sanjyusansinzu" (The portrait of 33 Kannon) are unveiled and hanged at the wall of Hojyo. All those pictures were painted by Zaichu Hara, who was one of the phenomenal Esi (painter) of Edo era. The whole interpretation of Hokekyo's Kanzenon-Bosatsu-Fumonbon is faithfully and vividly embodied in these pictures. Bakuryo means an airing for scrolls.

Ikkyu-ji Takigi-Noh (mid - September)

It is said that Zenchiku Konparu and On-ami, both widely praised as masters of Noh, frequently visited Ikkyu Zenshi in Shuon-an, Takigi. Ikkyu Zenshi’s intelligent, well-cultivated mind and artistic flair influenced on Noh‘s art form with its Zen consciousness at the time. Ikkyu Zenshi himself created some songs for Noh play as well. The word “Takigi-Noh” named after this place, was formerly called Takigi Village.

Kaizan-ki (21st November)

21st November marks the death of Ikkyu Zenshi. On this day, we hold Buddhist memorial services to remember the illustrious memory of Ikkyu Zenshi. Around this season, the autumn colors of Ikkyu-ji reach their peak a week earlier than the Kyoto city areas, as if they are timed nicely with Kaizan-ki.

Joya-no-kane, The Bells Ringing Out The Old Year (31st December)

On the night of New Year’s Eve, 31st of December, we hold the bell ceremony to ring out the old year. Joya-no-kane is struck one hundred and eight times to get the new year started.

Special Visits

Kokyu-an, The Tea Ceremony House

In origin, The Kokyu-an sat at the foot of Higashiyama. When Ikkyu Zenshi was 74, to avoid turmoil of the Ounin war, the Kokyu-an was moved to this place. The hengaku (the name plate raised above the entrance) was written by Ikkyu. The serene and modest building is Souan styled, its roof is made of cypress bark. The surrounding gardens are Karesansui (traditional Japanese rock garden) styled. Especially, the east garden has Shichi-go-san styled layout, it follows the same method as the Shichi-go-san garden of Yamauchi-Shinjyu-an, Daitokuji temple.

It is said that Jyuko Murata, the founder of Chanoyu (the Japanese tea ceremony), built Kokyu-an. In previous times, Kokyu-an had multifaceted aspect as salon for cultural figures like Jyuko and Zenchiku Konparu (the famous Noh actor of Muromachi era). Today's Japanese traditional performing arts like Sado or Noh - their essential roots can be found in this place.

It cannot be visited as it is not open to tha general public.

Ceremonial Tea - Matcha

How about a nice cup of green tea?

Since the days of Ikkyu Zenshi and Jyuko Murata, Sado and Ikkyu-ji shares strong historical links until today.
Jyuko, who discovered the very same state of mind as Zen in tea ceremony, is said to be the founder of Wabi-cha.
We serve a cup of matcha in the Kuri.
We also serve Rakugan, a natto-based sweet that is carefully produced by Turuya Yoshinobu.
You are cordially invited to attend.

Matcha green tea: 480yen


Q. Are pets allowed?
We are sorry, but no pets are allowed in the temple grounds.
Q. Does the temple have barrier-free facilities?
We do not have barrier-free facilities. There is some uneven ground or steps in the temple.
Q. Is a guided tour available for groups?
We can offer a guided tour, but we recommend you to make a reservation in advance by telephone. (NOTICE: The guided tour is only available in Japanese. There is no guided tour in English or any other language.)
Q. Is there a parking area for tourist coaches?
Yes. But the parking is often crowded in autumn, so we recommend you use the Ikkyu-ji Bus Stop on the Yamate Route.
Q. I'd like to make a reservation for Buddhist cuisine. What should I do?
Please make a reservation by telephone at least 2 days before your visit.
Reception hours are from 10:00 - 17:00. We can serve up to 60 guests in the dining hall. Also, we can serve up to 80 guests with extra room. (NOTICE: We cannot accept requests in English or any other language.)
Q. How long does it take to Ikkyu-ji from Kyoto Station by train / car?
By train, take Kintetsu Kyoto Line from Kintetsu Kyoto Station to Shin-Tanabe Station. It takes approximately 25 minutes by express train. By car, take the Hanshin Expressway Kyoto Route and Second Keihan Highway to get off at Yawata-Higashi Interchange. Then merge into Yamate route (R22). The total distance is approximately 40 minutes from Kyoto Station.
Q. How long does it take to Uji or Yawata from Ikkyu-ji?
Approx. 30 minutes, depending on traffic.
Q. Are there any terms for purchasing a cemetery?
Yes. One needs to be a 'Danto' (religious sect or supporter) of Ikkyu-ji. If desired, please contact us via e-mail. (NOTICE: We cannot accept requests in English or any other language.)
Q. I would like to make a reservation for a group visit. Is there any information available?
Yes. If desired, we will send information by post. (NOTICE: This information is only in Japanese. An English version is not available.)