There is nothing grandiose here, but I can detect a strange charm lingering in the small gardens. It is my my favorite also because it's not touristy, it's right by the forest of Higashiama, so manicured gardens and forest blend together beautifully. It is facing west, so it's better to visit it at sunset. It is still an active temple : around 16h the priest goes to the main hall for the service. You can watch or just listen to the chants. The main building are connected through an elevated bridge - so you feel like walking between trees. The temple has three small gardens. One has a pond and an elaborate landscape around it. A dry garden ofers the viewer an oval-shaped gravel sculpture, which I find very balanced, in good contrast with the nearby pines. As you turn around the front hall, another small garden blends stone, gravel, moss and water. A serene atmosphere, relaxed staff and free green tea. Definitely a good vibe, perfect for relaxation. You are very close to the Phylosopher's path there. I enjoyed it much more than Nanzen-ji.
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