Nanzen-in Temple

Nanzen-in Temple

Location: Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Status: open to the public
Landscaped: in Kamakura period


Nanzen-in Temple (Nanzen-ji Temple website)

The garden of Nanzen-in Temple was created in the Chisen Kaiyu (pond strolling) style representing the late Kamakura period. It retains an image of the past and its scenery, surrounded by deep forests, provides an exceptional atmosphere of profound silence. It was designated a National Historic Site and Scenic Site in 1923.

The pond in the garden is called “Sogen-chi”, which was made imitating the shape of a dragon. At its left end, stones were arranged to make the waterfall, and islands called Horai-isle and Shiji-isle were built in the pond.

According to the book titled “Tenka Nanzenji Ki,” written in the 15th century, in which the origin and history of Nanzen-ji were described, cherry trees in Yoshino, reed plants in Nanba and maple trees in Tatsuta were transplanted, and frogs brought from Ide were released in creating the garden. From these descriptions, we can contemplate the elegant atmosphere of the past.