Isuien (依水園) is an attractive Japanese garden with a variety of features, such as the use of Todaiji Temple's Nandaimon Gate and Mount Wakakusayama as "borrowed scenery". Isuien means "garden founded on water", and the garden's name is derived from the fact that its ponds are fed by the small adjacent Yoshikigawa River. The Yoshikien Garden is located just on the other side of the river.
Isuien is divided into two parts, a front garden and a rear garden, with a number of tea houses scattered throughout. The front garden has a longer history, dating back to the mid 17th century. The rear garden, the larger of the two, is more recent and was built in 1899 by a wealthy merchant. Next to the garden there is a museum displaying a personal collection of pottery, seals, mirrors and other artifacts from ancient China and Korea, which is included with admission.
Isuien Garden is also located a 15 minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station. From JR Nara Station, the garden can be reached by taking frequently departing buses bound for Aoyamajutaku or Kunimidai-hachichome to Oshiagecho bus stop (5 minutes, 210 yen, platform 5 or 6).