Walking in the Gardens of the Gods

 

This walk is conducted only from October to June.

Is there paradise on earth? Yes - come into the gardens of the gods at Tofukuji Temple.

What we’ll do

Explore three of Tofukuji's best gardens away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Stop by a private home of an artist to have matcha green tea and sweets along the way. You will also get introduced to several forms of meditation you can easily make part of your daily life as we explore the gardens. We will, after all, be among the gods and Buddhas.

What you’ll learn

You will learn how modernism in the West influenced one of Kyoto's greatest garden designers, the hidden meanings behind the gardens' architecture, and how ancient Japanese and Chinese ideas of the gods manifest in the three gardens.

What’s included

  • Tickets to 3 zen gardens

  • Matcha & sweets (In the event that the artist’s home is closed, we will visit an ice cream shop that serve ice cream made from soy milk & white miso paste)


2:30PM - 5:30PM

Small groups of 6 or fewer
Guided walk in English
3 hours total

¥4,500


100% 5-star reviews

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 What guests say

Absolutely beautiful tour exploring some of the oldest zen gardens in Japan. A chance to stroll and explore places you’d never find on your own, and learn amazing things about Japanese religion and landscape architecture, and with a chance to meditate.
— Sean, USA
I enjoyed watching mosses closely, having matcha in a private house, and mostly meditating and feeling the spirit of Zen gardens. XJ has a great knowledge of Buddhism and Shintoism. He’s also an avid observer and researcher to develop a most special route to highlight your trip. Highly recommended!
— Eva, China
The garden is so amazing, nice and quiet, good for relaxing and meditation. You’ll have a great experience and also some great stories about all the temples, culture and the gardens too.
— Sarika, Thailand
If you’re interested in Buddhism and Zen gardens I would highly recommend this tour. Not only were the Zen gardens beautiful, but it was an incredible experience to have someone as informed as XJ explain the significance and intricacies...
— Emma, USA
This tour was amazing! It exceeded expectations and was the perfect mix between culture, history and modern explanations. After the tour XJ provided us with a ton of recs for the rest of our trip and was really helpful!
— Danielle, USA
It was a fantastic day. Three temples and a traditional tea room he chose were unique... quiet and traditional Zen style. The word beautiful is not enough to describe Komyo-in. Only if you go there and feel it yourself, will you know how shocking it (will be) to you... Thank you.
— Coco, China
 

Book now 

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Refund policy: You will get a full refund if you cancel 3 days (72 hours) before the tour, but not if you cancel less than 3 days before the tour. There are no refunds for no shows. You will be offered a reschedule or refund if walks are cancelled because of heavy rain, typhoon warnings, major earthquakes, or any other natural disasters.

 
 
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Moss

 

 

FAQs

Where do we meet?

We meet at the only exit to Tofukuji Station. It is served by both the JR Nara Line and the Keihan Main Line. You’ll get directions to the meeting point immediately after you book the tour.

Do we walk if it rains or snows?

Yes. The walk continues as scheduled in rain and snowfall. In fact, the gardens can be even beautiful in the rain or snow. But the walk will be cancelled in the event of torrential rains, if there are very strong winds or if there is a major earthquake. You will have a chance to reschedule or choose to be refunded in full.

Dress code?

Come in comfortable attire you can easily sit in. Please have socks on to protect the tatami flooring. Come in walking shoes you can easily slip in and out of, because we will be taking off and putting our shoes on 4 times during the walk.

Are the matcha and sweets vegan?

Yes, the matcha and sweets offered at the artist’s home are vegan-friendly.

Can children come?

Children aged 10 and up can attend. We do not recommend taking children under the age of 10 because the temples and garden are sacred spaces where we have to be as quiet as possible.

What can I do after the tour?

We end the tour at the Keihan Tobakaido Station. From there, you can make your way to Gion-Shijo Station to explore the historic Higashiyama district (Yasaka Pagoda - Sannenzaka - Ninnenzaka - Ishibei-koji - Yasaka Shrine - Hanamikoji & Gion Corner). We will also make recommendations for dinner and post-dinner drinks, depending on your preferences.