Sho-ren-in was known as one of the five Monzeki temples in Kyoto whose head priests were originally from the imperial family. It was one of the main lodgings in the mountain used by several well known priests.
Sho-ren-in achieved its highest prosperity under the third head priest who made many contributions in the world of Buddhism. He promoted the discipline of controlling the mind and wrote, Gukansho, the first book of philosophy based on Japanese history.
With beautiful rooms of tatami mats and painted screens that opened on to lush Japanese gardens, this was a joy to meander through.