We had a spare morning before leaving Kyoto and decided to take the trip up into the hills to see this stunning garden. The trip takes about 1 hour each way and can be reached either through a single bus trip from downtown Kyoto, or a combination of subway and public bus (see the very helpful link at http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3955.html). Part of the charm of the visit is that you're out in the countryside and get to see another part of the Kansai area. The temple and garden itself is meticulously maintained and really quite beautiful. I can imagine that autumn would be the best time to visit, but early Spring was great nevertheless.
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