Rozan-ji Temple Gardens

Rozan-ji temple is a small but delightful temple close to the Imperial Palace and Park in central Kyoto. The original temple was built in 938 AD and escaped destruction by Oda Nobunga in 1571. He put to the torch many of the imperial buildings in his struggle for power. The temple was used as the residence of Lady Murasaki, the great novelist of the "Tale of Genji". The gardens, on three sides, are karesansui or dry landscape gardens with the main garden known as the Garden of Kikyo (bell flower or campanula).

The entrance garden has sculptured bushes, pines and acers, a few rocks and a lantern or two.

The main garden has shaped mossy areas representing clouds set in a background of white gravel. A few mature pines, cherries and acers provide seasonal interest. The renowned bellflowers are planted amidst the moss in random fashion at low density as if birds had transplanted the seed (not autumn flowering).

The garden at the rear of the temple was a shaded garden under a canopy of acers and cherrys with bamboos and azaleas and a path leading to the teahouse.