Autumn: Oct - Nov

Enkoji Temple’s Breathtaking Views in Kyoto, 2024

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There are several iconic and stunning gardens in Kyoto city that are known for their beauty and cultural significance. “Enkoji temple” has one of the best Japanese gardens that  change dramatically with each seasons. This garden view from the main room is as beautiful as the photo that is designed harmonious, experience throughout the year.  

Despite of those stunning views, The peak time of each season typically lasts only about a week in any given area. If you are planning a trip to Kyoto and aiming to experience the most vibrant view, I highly recommend visiting “Enkoji temple”
Here is some information about Enkoji temple.

※ Enkoji temple require advance reservations for general visitors during Special fall viewing.

History 

An entrance of Enkoji temple

Enkoji temple was built as an educational institution in 1601 by Ieyasu Tokugawa who was the fist shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan. Enkoji temple was opened to the general public and not exclusively to buddhist monks. The temple was moved to its present location, Sakyo Ward in 1667, and transform to a temple.

Best seasons

Autumn season

In autumn season when it’s generally in late November to early December, trees in Kyoto city change from yellow to red color gradually. The Enkoji temple is adored with stunning autumn leaves, creating breathtaking sights when combined with the temple’s historic architecture. Especially, in Enkoji temple, there are many kind of maple trees transform into vibrant hues of red, orange and yellow attracting both locals and tourists alike.

Summer season

While summer in Kyoto city can be hot and humid, Enkoji temple can be visited and enjoyed as a summer retreat. Enkoji temple is located in part of eastern Kyoto city, Sakyo Ward where has natural beauty, surrounded by many forest. Furthermore, Enkoji temple’s garden has many cooling effect: lush, green, strolling pod, bamboo cave. Crape myrtle in the entrance of garden is in bloom with large, showy clusters of pink flowers in summer season.  

Gardens

・Jyu-gyu no niwa

Jyu-gyu garden in Enkoji temple

The highlight of “Jyu-gyu” garden is picturesque views from a main hall of Enkoji temple. The pillars, the celling, the pathway with the red felt carpet look like a framed view, creating a “”living picture.  

A strolling pond garden”Jyu-gyu no niwa”, representing the ten ox herding pictures that used in the Zen buddhist tradition to illustrate the stages a practitioner’s progress  towards enlightenment.

This garden feature various tree, the most prominent species of maple tree found there is Japanese maple(Acer palmatum, Acer amoenum, Ancer palmatum ver. Matumurae)

Those maple trees undergo a fascinating transformation with their leaves changing from green to vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow gradually. Moreover, Stone lanterns, arrangement stones and green covered moss create moments of reflection, beauty and tranquility.

・Modern Japanese dry garden ”Honryutei”

Honryutei, Modern Japanese dry garden
Honryutei, Modern Japanese dry garden

Modern Japanese dry garden is a type of Japanese garden. This ”Honryutei” garden represents the dragon by elongated stone arrangements (back left of the above photo) ,symbolize strength, power and good fortune in Japan. Its swirling white sand and tiles evoke a sea of clouds, while the towering stone pillars resemble bolts of lightning. The rock formation on the left side represents a dragon soaring through the heavens, adding to the garden’s sense of energy and vitality.

Unlike traditional karesansui gardens, this garden does not use tomeishi (boundary stones) to mark its boundaries. Instead, it invites visitors to complete the garden in their own minds, fostering a deeper connection between the viewer and the artwork.

・Bamboo grove
In the depths of the Jyu-gyu garden, a lush bamboo grove spreads out. The panoramic view of northern kyoto from the bamboo grove of Enkoji temple is described as breathtaking in historical texts.

Infromation

PeriodOpen hoursAdmission
Normal period9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.Adult: 600yen
High school,
Junior high school,
and Elementary school student: 300 yen
(Special fall viewing)
November, 11th to December 5th
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.Adult: 1000 yen
High school and
Junior high school student: 500 yen
Elementary school student: 300 yen

※ Need a reservation
Reservation is required in Special fall viewing

Enkoji temple require advance reservations for general visitors in special Autumn Event (November, 11th to December 5th, 2023). You must make a reservation to enter the temple during this special event. The reservation is available from October 16th, 2023.

Here is Enkoji temple URL to book entry



Address
13 Ichijoji Kotanicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-8147 

How to get there and avoid crowds

It’s obviously that Kyoto city is crowded with tourists in high season(autumn and spring). Moreover, Enkoji is one of the popular temples to see stunning gardens. However, a little planning helps you to visit easily. Here is some advices to get there and avoid crowds.

Resource and Link

Enkoji temple(English)
https://www.enkouji.jp/en/

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