Apr. 21, 2020 UPDATE
Story & Recommendation
A temple with a magnificent garden and wildlife
The Kaju-ji Temple is famous for its garden called “'Kaju-ji Hyochien”'. The natural scenery of the mountains in the background was used in the design of this garden. The temple was founded by Emperor Daigo over 1000 years ago. The buildings inside the temple were destroyed and rebuilt throughout history, but the garden remained and was maintained through the generations. Beautiful lotus flowers can be seen during the summer and the changing colors of the leaves can be seen during autumn. At this historical garden, an evergreen shrub called haibyakushin, growing around a uniquely shaped lantern, can also be seen.
Herons and Waterfowls
Kaju-ji is known as a temple with a lot of waterfowls. You can see birds nesting on top of tall trees and also playing in the pond. It’s a great garden to do some bird watching. Ducks, koi fish, and turtles swim in the pond. This garden is full of wonderful wildlife, and a great place to spend some time!
Look Around the Garden
The garden can be enjoyed by both viewing and strolling around it. Pay attention to the background scenery of the mountains when you take a moment to look over the garden. There are benches to sit down as well. Take a nice walk around the pond and look closely for the koi fish. Many were released into the pond by locals who needed help in taking care of their fish throughout the years. Kids who visit the temple are given pieces of bread to feed to the koi fish.
Use the Binoculars
Look for a green box on the side of the pond for the binoculars that are free to use. Watch the birds up in the tall trees coming back from their flight from Lake Biwa, where they often spend their day. Some stay in the area to protect their nests so if you are lucky, you may see some chicks as well.
- Manner & Tips -
It’s recommended that you know the location before taking a trip to this temple. Look for the 「勧修寺」sign on the street and by the entrance.