|Name||圓通寺 / Entsu-ji Temple|
|Adress||Iwakura Hataedacho389, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 606-0015|
Adult 500 yen
University 500 yen
High school 500 yen
Junior high school 300 yen
Elementary school 300 yen
Entsu-ji was originally a villa built in 1639 by emperor Gomino. It was later converted to a temple, like many villas belonging to influential people (emperors, poets, writers, painters, daimyos, etc.) Their original purpose gives a hint on what you will find there: nice gardens and low buildings (no big main temple hall).
The garden of Entsu-ji has a few unique points. First it is delimited by a hedge, which not very common (walls were more popular back in the days). Also, instead of lying in a closed space, the garden is (partially) open and thus includes the surrounding landscape in its composition, particularly Mt Hiei which can be seen in the distance (when the weather is good!). At last, several tall pine trees are growing along the hedge, splitting the “borrowed” landscape of Mt Hiei and giving it a bit of extra structure. Other than that, the garden is classic, mostly covered by moss and groups of stones. Flowering plants are also placed here and there, satsuki and tsutsuji rhododendrons for the most part.