Kyoto Prefectural Botanical Gardens

July 1, 2013

by Namiho Nakazawa

The Kyoto Botanical Gardens are located directly north of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, on the corner of Kamogawa and Kitayama streets.  The peaks of the Kitayama mountain range can be seen to the north of the gardens, with the Kamogawa river running on their western side.  Recently, these gardens have become quite the focus of attention in Kyoto, as there is a nice residential quarter and a good number of fashionable shops on Kitayama Street where the main entrance is located.

↓This is the main entrance to Kyoto Botanical Gardens.

main entrance to the botanical gardens



Kyoto Prefectural Botanical Gardens were originally intended to be opened as part of an exhibition to commemorate the coronation of Emperor Taisho in 1913.  Omori Shoichi was the governor of Kyoto Prefecture at the time, and he acquired the site in order to hold the Expo there.  However, he was forced to change his plans halfway through.  He finally managed to establish the gardens after receiving a donation from a member of the aristocratic Mitsui family, Mitsui Hachiroemon.  In 1917, work started on the botanical gardens, and following six years of commitment, they were eventually opened to the public in 1924.

the fountain in the botanical gardens


More Details

The gardens cover approximately 240,000 square meters in total area and are home to a collection of about 12,000 types of plants, flowers, shrubs and trees.  There is a vast lawn area here, plus a lot of cherry trees, a rose garden and the forest plant ecological park of Japan.  In April 1992, the huge greenhouse was opened, and is truly the pride and joy of these botanical gardens.

the huge greenhouse

These gardens provide a great place of recreation and relaxation for people living in Kyoto, and they help to raise the general education of the people through appreciation of the plants here.  There is also a real emphasis on research into botany.  The greenhouse also displays an image that is not unlike that of another great Kyoto treasure, Kinkakuji Temple, which is a temple that seemingly floats on a pond.  The total floor area of the conservatory is about 4,612 square meters and rises to a height of 14.8 meters at its tallest point.  The interior consists of nine zones, and the visitor can proceed along a route of up to 460 meters with no steps to negotiate.  The plant exhibits number approx. 25,000 in total, and are representative of around 4,500 species.

a lotus pond in the gardens

Opening Times
Open 9:00 am  -  Closed 5:00 pm (last entrance 4:00 pm)

Greenhouse Opening Times
Open 10:00 am -  Closed 4:00 pm (last entrance 3:30 pm)

Days Closed
December 28 to January 4

Entrance Fees
・ Adults  =  200 yen
・ High school students  =  150 yen
・ Elementary and Junior High School students  =  Free

Greenhouse entrance fee
・ Adults  =  200 yen
・ High school students  =  150 yen
*  People over 60 and the registered disabled  =  Free

There are also group discount fees and multiple-entry passes available


By Subway
Kitayama Subway Station (for the main entrance)
Kitaoji Subway Station, and a 10-minute walk east (for the south entrance)

By Bus
Bus No.1 from Demachiyanagi Keihan Station
From Kyoto sation take the Kyoto Bus to the main entrance (the stop name is “shokobutsuenmae”)

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