Temple Grounds

To Manshuin Temple
(approx. 15-minute walk)

To Shisendo Temple
(approx. 3-minute walk)


A dragon flies boldly, as the sea of clouds shimmers.

In the Honryutei Garden, a karesansui Zen garden, the white sand, swirling and flowing in various directions, resembles a sea of clouds, and the arranged stones represent a dragon flying freely in the sky.

Jyu-gyu no niwa

This is the path to Zen enlightenment.

This circular garden with a pond was created in the early modern period, based on the theme of the "Ten Bulls" series of paintings, which depict an oxherd chasing cattle. The cattle depicted in "Ten Bulls" represent the innate Buddha spirit of human beings. It is the story of the herdsman's journey to Zen enlightenment, and how he found the enlightenment he had been searching for so hard within himself. On the south side of the garden is Seiryuchi Pond, the oldest spring in northern Kyoto.

Picture Frame Garden

In the fresh green season, feel the dazzling greenery and vibrancy of life. In the fall, enjoy the glorious, colorful autumnal foliage. When the end of autumn arrives, stand amidst the spectacular red and orange leaves that cover the entire garden, and when snow falls, sit in a world of colorless white and call to mind again all the changes of the four seasons. In the Jyugyu-no-Niwa Garden, visitors can enjoy a diversity of views throughout the year.

Move the arrow to the left or right


Clear tones echo through the air.

Clear sounds echo faintly in the quiet temple grounds. The suikinkutsu drip basin, which creates an aural atmosphere unique to the deep greenery and abundant water of the northern part of Kyoto, is the cool, refreshing sound of the Jugyu-no-Niwa Garden. The clear tone produced by each drop of water leaves a pleasant sensation that soothes and softens the hearts of any who hear it.

Taigetsuan (tea ceremony room)
*Not open to the public

In the Taigetsuan tea ceremony room, which leads to the Study Hall passageway, the Meiji era former lord Iwakura Tomomi is said to have often enjoyed tea.

Ohkyo chikurin

According to literature from the early modern period, the panoramic views of northern Kyoto from the bamboo grove of Enkouji Temple are spectacular. The young painter Maruyama Okyo, who visited this bamboo grove, later painted Bamboo in Wind and Rain (an Important Cultural Property) with this grove as a motif. In summer, the refreshing breezes that blow through the bamboo grove are cool and pleasant.

Toshogu Shrine

Toshogu Shrine and the tomb of Tokugawa Ieyasu

On the hill behind the temple is located Toshogu Shrine, and a grave where the teeth of Tokugawa Ieyasu are interred, in accordance with his last will and testament. Enjoy a panoramic view of the streets of northern Kyoto below. In the evening, as the sun sets over Nishiyama, the view is indescribably beautiful.

the tomb of Tokugawa Ieyasu

Evening view from Toshogu Shrine on the hill behind the temple

Banryukutsu (Zen meditation hall)

Enkouji Temple has a history as the only and oldest training hall for Buddhist nuns in Japan from the Meiji period to recent years. The general public is welcome to join the early morning seated Zen meditation sessions on Sundays.

Back to Top Back to Top