daily, 9am - 4:30pm special lighting 5pm - 9:30pm from Oct 29 - Dec 5.
500 yen (400 yen for night time viewing during special lighting season)
Added to JGarden:
The origin of this temple lie in the volatile Momoyama (16th century) period. Nene, the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, built Kodaiji and the North Garden (Kita-teien) at Fushimi castle for her husband. When he died, the garden was transferred to Kyoto from Fushimi. Construction of the temple, Kodai-in, began in 1603 with some garden work being done two years later. The name was changed to Kodaiji in 1606. Entokuin, built in 1627, is actually a subtemple of the Kodaiji complex, located across the street. The narrow street that passes between Entokuin and Kodaiji is still called Nene Street.
There are actually two gardens here, North and South. The North Garden is quite interesting. The original design was not Enshu, but he may have had a hand in some of the modifications. Originally designed as a pond garden, it is now a karesansui dry garden. Like Entsuji, the stones are arranged in a semi-circle among grass and moss. It is particularly notable for its dry waterfall ishigumi. The South garden was only constructed very recently and has not yet matured, but is still worth seeing. It consists of a large expanse of raked gravel bounded by an undulating border of stone, trees, moss and undergrowth.
In the late fall, Entokuin puts on a nighttime light show. We're not sure when the light show began, but it's supposed to be quite spectacular.
The head priest here is Goto Tensho. It has got to be one of the first Japanese temples to go online, complete with a page flogging the priest's own book.
With the south wind a gentle goddess came.
She soaked the bronze, she soaked the fountain,
She soaked the swallow's belly and its feathers of gold.
She hugged the tide, lapped the sand, drank the fish.
Secretly she soaked the temple, the bath-house, the theatre,
The confusion of her platinum lyre --
the tongue of the goddess -- secretly.
Soaked my tongue.
Nishiwaki Junzaburô trans. by Bownas and Thwaite 20th century