Gardens (Japan)

Nishimura Shinto Priest House & Garden, Kyoto

Nishimura Shinto Priests’ House & Garden.  The Nishimura Family is a line of Shinto priests that served Kamigamo Shrine for over two thousand years. Three hundred and fifty years ago, there were 140 priests houses along the Myojin River. Now, only 20 of the houses remain. Historically, before performing rites at the shrine, the priests purified their bodies and souls with water from the stream running through their gardens. This water came from (and still does) the Myojin River, which originates in the precincts of the shrine. Today, Nishimura Garden is a summerhouse and priests no longer reside there.