A former villa of Enryaku-ji monks, is famous for its huge garden with a beautiful scenary.
Former Chikurin-in Temple is located at the foot of Mount Hieizan in Otsu city, Shiga. The temple is originally a “satobo“, the villa for retired monks of Enryaku-ji Temple. Actually many satobos are in this area, but most of them are not open to the public.In the Meiji period, politics forced Buddhism and Shinto to split and oppressed the Buddhism in some areas. Enryaku-ji Templa became its first target as they had huge power in those days. As a result, Chikurin-in Temple, the highest formality in the Satobo of Enryaku-ji declined, and became a privately owned villa.
The main building of this garden was built in 1897 of the Meiji period. Visitors can admire a beautiful Japanese garden from a drawing room on the first floor, and the second floor of the building newly oppened to the public. There is two tea houses in the garden. The big tea house is called “Hiroma” , and a small tea house is called “Amano-gawa-seki” which has two doorways and is a very rare built.
Former Chikurin-in offers an amazing view of autumn colors from its traditional tatami room.
Today, Former Chikurin-in Temple is famous for its traditional tea houses and the huge Japanese garden (approximately 3,300 square meters), which has been designated as a cultural property by Otsu City. Visitors can taste matcha green tea with beautiful scenary of the garden.
This huge strolling-style garden is composed of a river stream, stones, trees, moss carpets and with a borrowed scenary of surrounded mountains. The scenery with spring cherry trees and autumn coloured leaves are very beautiful here.
Former Chikurin-in Temple（旧竹林院)）
Address : 5 Chome-2-13 Sakamoto, Otsu, Shiga 520-0113
Hours : 9:00 to 16:30 (Monday closed)
Admission : 330 yen
Access : 7-minute walk from Sakamoto station on the Keihan Ishiyama-Sakamoto line
By JR Kosei line : 25-minute walk from Hieizan-Sakamoto station, or take the bus No. 31, 33, 41 from the station.