Even among the garden villas in the Nanzen-ji Temple neighborhood, Warin-an (formerly the Kamahara Tatsuya residence) is a celebratedly outstanding garden.
The promenade nearby Warin-an running alongside the path of the Lake Biwa Canal completed in 1890 is today known as the “Philosopher’s Path” and also a familiar spot to Kyotoites and tourists. In this area, Kamahara built a garden that borrows scenery from Shinnyodo Temple and Konkai Komyo-ji Temple on the west side of its house. The garden was created by Ogawa Jihei VII. Like many of the garden villas in the Nanzen-ji Temple neighborhood that use Lake Biwa Canal water, Warin-an’s pond water is drawn directly from the Lake Biwa Canal.
This garden is a strolling pond garden surrounded by planting focused on red pines (akamatsu), black pines (kuromatsu) and maple trees.
Among the modern gardens in the villas of the Nanzen-ji Temple neighborhood, there are many cases where man-made items such as temple buildings in the surrounding area are used as borrowed scenery (e.g. Hekiun-so, Kaiu-so, etc.). The same holds for Warin-an; look upwards and you can see Nanzen-ji Temple’s Sanmon Gate and the three-storied pagoda of Konkai Komyo-ji Temple.
Furthermore, while it is common to look out from the modern gardens in this area to see a view of the Higashiyama mountains from an east facing house that is built on the west side of the property (Murin-an, Tairyu-sanso, Hekiun-so, Ryukyo-in), Warin-an is characterized by the fact that its main view is of Shinyo-do Temple and the hill of Konkai Komyo-ji Temple, both of which are seen from a west facing house on the east side of the property.
Location: Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Accessibility: not open to the public
Garden construction period: Taisho period
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