Large gingko tree in entrance (brilliant yellow in the fall); pond garden with rocks, bridge, shrubs and moss; Rengeji style lanterns; maples and gingko are outstanding in the fall.
This peaceful garden features a small but beautiful pond set against a hillside of cascading maple foliage. The main building was once located in central Kyoto (near the present-day site of Kyoto Station), but was moved here in 1663 by Chikayoshi Imaeda, an official of the Kaga Daimyo (the powerful clan that ran the region currently known as Ishikawa Prefecture). This site on the north bank of the Takano River was created to honor Imaeda's grandfather.
The pond is located on the immediate north side of the sukiya-style structure. While there is a path in the current garden, the site is primarily intended to be viewed from within the structure (a kansho or 'viewing' garden). In addition to the garden itself, the site lends its name to a stone lantern style that begins here. The Rengeji-style lantern is an upright lantern with a steeply-pitched, cone-shaped roof.
JOJG notes that this garden has not been well maintained in recent years and that the caretaker is can be a bit aggressive.
Rengeji is located along the Eizan Line tramway north of the Kyoto near the Miyake Hachiman Station. From the station, walk across the river and turn right.
While the sound
Of the cascade
Long since has ceased,
We still hear the murmur
Of its name.
Taki no oto wa
Nao kikoe kere.
Fujiwara no Kinto (966-1041) Hyakunin Isshu trans. by M.V. Otake