The 3 Most Majestic Temple Gardens in Kyoto

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  • It’s no surprise that in these days, people tend to have less time for personal pleasures and hobbies such as gardening. Gardens can provide stress relief with the relaxing qualities they possess. Some gardens in Japan even include Zen-influenced principles of design such as simplicity (Kanso), basics (Kiso) or naturalness (Shizen). Let’s take a closer look at some of the temples with majestic gardens in Kyoto.

    Tenryu-ji Temple

    Tenryu-ji Temple was built by Ashikaga Takauji in 1339 in memory of Emperor Go-Daigo, the 96th emperor of Japan. It is located in Ukyo-ko, Kyoto. The temple may not be as magnificent as the earlier days, but the garden boasts vestiges of its original appearance. The Temple Garden was built by Muso Soseki, the temple’s chief priest. This temple is, as of 1994, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has been designed to allow visitors to enjoy the beautiful scenery it provides all throughout the 4 seasons.


    Tofuku-ji Temple

    One of the Kyoto Gozan or “five great temples of Kyoto” is Tofuku-ji Temple. It is a Buddhist temple that was founded in 1236 by Kujo Michiie, the imperial chancellor. It has a splendid architectural design, including its garden. There are several gardens in various areas of Tofuku-ji. The moss garden, which looks a lot like a checkerboard, is the most significant.


    Entsuji Temple

    Also in Ukyo-ku is another majestic temple, Entsuji Temple. It was founded in 1678 by Emperor Reigan and is a little bit out of the way but well worth the trip. There are only a few tourists who visit the site due to its strict policies such as not permitting photography in and of the buildings. The Temple is best known for its gardens because of its stunning use of the “shakkei” (borrowed landscape) technique.


    There are many more gardens to visit outside of Kyoto if you’re up for a garden tour around the entire country. Nonetheless, each of these has its own concept of beauty which can be very exciting to know more about.

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