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Magical Enkoji Temple

Site of the Rakuyo School that shaped Japanese culture


Autumn Foliage viewing at Enkoji from 15 November until 10 December 2020 requires a reservation.

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When I walk eastward on Kita-Shirakawa Street in northern Kyoto, I find houses crowded on both sides of narrow streets. This is the townscape of my childhood in my hometown, Kyoto!

Turning left on the narrow street in front of Shisendo, I walk about fifty meters, and see Enkoji Temple there. This temple originated from the Rakuyo School, which was founded by THE power of the time, Tokugawa Ieyasu. The liberal and open atmosphere of the school fostered many scholars, painters and literary figures. This school influenced the development of Japanese culture. The temple, which is a legacy of that cultural contribution, stands silently in a corner of Rakuhoku area of Kyoto.

I visited this temple in early December to appreciate the beauty of Ju-gyu-no Niwa (Garden of Ten Oxen), which is strolling garden centered around a pond.

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