Enko-ji Temple

Kyoto, Kansai

Precious cultural properties and a beautiful garden in harmony with nature
The temple used to be a place of learning and keeps its heritage of knowledge

The temple was established as a school by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), who is famous as one of the greatest men of Japan. Relatively new among the renowned temples of Kyoto, it was founded first in Fushimi-ku in 1600 and then moved to Sakyo-ku in 1667. When it was in Fushimi, the temple was a center of Japan’s intellectual activities, inviting Sanyo Genkitsu (Kanshitsu) for educational projects and publishing books called “Enko-ji editions” using wooden type imported from Korea, for example. 52,320 wooden type of Fushimi editions are exhibited here as Important Cultural Property. Today, the temple is a place of Zen training, holding zazen (basic Zen training) meetings, for example.

The temple has been noted for its beautiful garden and is visited by many people, especially in fall, when leaves change color. Visitors are fascinated watching delicate scarlet here and there in the temple. At the entrance of the garden there is a sui-kin-kutsu that echoes water dripping in a pot and a seiryuchi shows the glassy surface of pure water. In a karesansui (a Japanese garden style expressing waterscapes, including ponds, rivers, lakes and the sea using only stones and sand) named Jugyu-no-niwa, stones representing oxen are placed in harmony with crape myrtle, azaleas, peonies, and other natural artworks.


13 Ichijoji-kotani-cho, Kyoto Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Admission Fee
400 yen (adults); 300 yen (senior/junior high-school students); 200 yen (elementary school students)

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