Kyoto Garden of Fine Art

Soak yourself in the world of Tadao Ando, with expressive water forms and great ceramic panels 

Text: Keiko Kimura / Photo: Takashi Oka

The Garden of Fine Art. Masterpieces of world-renowned architect Tadao Ando fills this Garden on the street of Kitayama-dori with building with his spirit of modernism and the great 8 ceramic panels themed with some of predecessor's artworks 'The Last Judgment' by Michelangelo and 'The Last Supper' by Leonardo Da Vinci. You can literally soak yourself in his world here.

This Garden of Fine Art opened in 1994 to create a space to exhibit Ando's 4 ceramic masterpieces ('The Last Supper', 'Water Lilies: Morning' by Monet, etc.) which as put out to the public for The International Garden and Greenery Exposition (1990). With 4 additional ceramic panels that were newly created, this Garden offers a trip around waterfall-decorated concrete architect to fully enjoy his works.

Monet's Water Lilies is made almost to the original size, 200 x 1,275 cm, lies underwater at the entrance to dazzle the visitors.


As you walk by 'Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga' (Scrolls of Frolicking Animals and Humans, which is said to be Japan's oldest manga drawing), the sound of water falling shall increase until 'The Last Judgment' comes into sight with the size of 1,430 x 1,309 cm. 

The great ceramic panels and the sound of water amidst the inorganically cold concrete buildings is making such a contrast. Walking close to the water, the path will lead to 'The Last Supper'.


'The Last Supper' can be said as the only piece exhibited in tranquility. It is also accompanied with water but in a still position not making any sound, only creating a sacred mood. Not only this piece, but each of the panels are exhibited to suites there original taste.


'The Last Judgment' can be seen from a different angle from B2 floor where wind and water splashes refreshes the air. It might be a good spot during summer.

According to the Garden staff, 'it's best to be seen around 15:00 when the sun strikes the panel'. The light illumination that occasionally happens during some events are also worth a visit.

This amazing Garden can be entered with 100 yen, making it a popular date spot for the local students as well as the tourists. 


ADDRESS: Shimogamo Hangi-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto (map)
PHONE: +81(0)75-724-2188
HOURS: 9:00-17:00 (Last admission 16:30)
CLOSED: December 28 - January 4