This Tendai temple is located in northeast Kyoto, near Shisendo and Shugakuin. Features include a stretch of sand with arranged stones, crane and turtle arrangements, a pine tree with horizontally trained branches, and green hillside backdrop.
This garden lies just south of Shugakuin Detached Palace on the grounds of the Monzekiji-in temple (a Tendai sect temple). Prince Toshihito's (who designed Katsura) second son, Yoshihisa seems to have had some connection with this garden's construction in 1656. The original buildings still stands in their original locations, and their Shoin style closely resembles that of Katsura.
The garden is wrapped around both the large and small shoin, but according to Gunter Nitsche, it is best viewed from the small shoin. Its design is that of a pond garden in terms of layout, but the older Heian form has been transformed into the dry karesansui of the Edo period. An artificial Mount Horai is paired with rock groupings on its left. A stone bridge (ishibashi crosses a dry stream and a second bridge of stone slabs links a penninsula to a crane island in the far west. On the crane island are three undulating rock groups which, according to Mori Osamu, resemble the nosuji of the Heian period . In front is a turtle island floating in an expanse of white gravel. Tobiishi cross the area between the small shoin and a steep hillside, leading to a tea house attached to the shoin. Mori Osamu also notes that the style is distinctive for its unrestrained, open manner and lack of rigidity.
Gunter Nitsche. Japanese Gardens. Taschen. 1993. p 178.
Mori Osamu. Teien. 1993. p256.
great picture of it in Loraine Kuck's World of the Japanese Garden. pp158-159.
Years ago I went into retirement
and built this place beside the mountain.
Among the trees there is no worldly noise;
beneath the eaves, the tranquil flow of a stream...
Ishikawa Jozan founder of Shisendo trans. by Jonathon Chaves 17th century