In Kyoto's Ichijoji Kotanimachi area, Enkoji is the site of the temple school, Rakuyo, first opened by Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first Shogun of Japan. Even today, Enkoji is still used as training grounds by the Nanzenji Sect of Buddhism.
Among famous places in this area, Shisendo is perhaps better known to tourists. That said, Enkoji is home to a beautiful garden called Jyu-gyu no Niwa. Sitting on tatami and looking out over the gardens, you can breathe deeply as you gaze out over the fresh new growth in summer, or the fiery leaves of fall. This temple is often not crowded, so visitors can enjoy slowly walking through the temple gardens. If you're lucky, you may even see monkeys here when they come down from the mountains.
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A semi-professional photographer and English teacher, Illaura is a long-term resident of Japan who photographs every day life and scenes in Japan to promote a better understanding of Japanese culture.