This garden can be summarized with a few words: 'Lots of stones!'. The temple dates from the Heian period, but it fell into disrepair during the Momoyama. Toyotomi Hideyoshi changed all of that when he met the current priest Giyen in 1598, while on a cherry blossom-viewing trip nearby. He agreed to Giyen's request to restore the gardens and temple and construction began immediately. The work was completed in six weeks, though Yoshiro (Kentei) worked on the garden for another twenty years afterward. The garden is supposed to include 700 stones, most of which came from other locations. Hideyoshi's own palace, Jurakudai, was the source for many of them.
The temple also boasts other gardens including a double-gourd arrangement near the Hondo and several smaller ones.