Ōgenkan Garden (Created by Ueyakato Landscape, 1970)
When the Kyoto City Tram’s Fushimi Line was discontinued, Kyoto’s shrines and temples were given first shot at buying the flat paving stones once used as streetcar tracks. Ueyakato Landscape’s fifth president, Jiro Kato, acted as deputy for Nanzen-ji Temple and won the top prize in the first lottery. As a result, we were able to use plenty of excellent flat stones won at this lottery to create a garden path made of tramway track in front of the temple’s main entrance. We then arranged trees and stones along both sides of the path. Additional flat stones won at a second lottery were used at Nanzen-ji sub-temples.
Japanese gardens are often created by using what is felicitously available. Materials that have served their primary purpose aren’t disposed of, but given new value by recycling them as garden scenery. This use of tramway track stones is said to have set off a trend in Japanese landscape design.
Nanzen-ji Temple Hojo Garden
Nanzen-ji Temple Kohojo Garden
Nanzen-ji Temple Rokudo-tei Garden
Nanzen-ji Temple Oogenkan Garden
Nanzen-ji Temple Kegon-tei Garden and Ryugin-tei Garden
Location: Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Accessibility: open to the public
Garden construction period: in 1970
Nanzen-ji Temple website