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Japanese Garden of Jofukuji Temple

National Scenic Beauty once loved by the lords of Fukui

When I visited Ajimano-en Park back in March this year, I stumbled across Jofukuji Temple, which turned out to be the family temple of Taira Clan. The phrase, "Family Temple of Taira Clan" intrigued me, but what aroused my curiosity more was the fact that the garden inside this temple was designated as a National Scenic Beauty of Japan. There was no one in sight when I visited, which made me almost give up seeing the garden. However I banged on the door anyway before leaving the temple. An old man answered my door-banging and said, "It's not ready for the public viewing yet", nevertheless kindly showed me the garden. This garden is a dry landscape garden which borrows the scenery from the nearby mountain range and was designed in mid Edo Period. The historical lords of Fukui Matsudaira Clan loved this garden and visited it annually. Beside the garden, the reception room of these lords is preserved. Although mosses in the garden were still dry and waiting to be manicured, I was able to monopolize the garden and rooms to myself, thus enjoyed them very much. I'm sure that the garden will look fresh and green in May to June. Even if you can't find anybody on the temple grounds when you visit, bang the door for a try, then you will perhaps be ushered into the garden. If you are lucky, you may even be able to see the descendant of Taira Clan!