Shobo-ji was established in 754 by a monk called Chii - a disciple of Ganjin, who built Toshidai-ji in Nara. Like many temples in Kyoto, Shobo-ji was burned during the wars, then reconstructed in 1615. The temple has two interesting zen gardens, particularly the "Beasts and Birds Garden” named after the shape of some of its rocks. The temple grounds are elevated compared to the rest of the valley, which gives a view of the surrounding area wthat incorporates borrowed scenery such as the distant mountains into the overall garden design. Shobo-ji pays particular attention to flowers; ikebana can be seen on the temple grounds and in the buildings. In addition, the tsukubai water basin is usually decorated with flowers as well.