Konpuku-ji was built in 864 by a priest named Jikaku (慈覚). The temple was later destroyed but was rebuilt by another priest named Tesshu (鉄舟, literally "iron boat"). Around 1670, the famous poet Matsuo Basho stopped at this temple for a few nights, and stayed in a small side building of the temple, which was later renamed Basho-an (芭蕉庵) by Tesshu. A century later, in 1760, another poet called Buson (蕪村) visited the temple, but the cottage in which Basho stayed was nothing more than a ruin. Assisted by three disciples, Buson rebuilt the cottage in 1776. Buson was a haiku poet but also a successful painter, which allowed him to rebuilt Basho-an. His tomb and the ones of his three disciples can be found near the small cottage. Near the tombs is a small well in which Basho is said to have drank.
Konpuku-ji consists of two parts, the lower temple and the Basho-an higher up the hill. The temple zen garden is a classic rock garden with many satsuki rhododendrons, making early summer the best time to visit this temple. Near the entrance of the garden on the right lies a small tsukubai basin (蹲) which is very similar to the one of Ryoan-ji and features the same four characters (for an explanation see Ryoanji's page or the wiki). A small path goes around the back of the garden and climbs a slope covered with satsuki to reach Basho-an and, further in the woods, the graves of Buson and his disciples.
Konpuku-ji is usually visited together with the two nearby (and more famous/beautiful/crowded) temples of Enko-ji (圓光寺) and Shisen-do (詩仙堂).
Recommended for: Access:
Nearby: Shisen-dō 詩仙堂 (200m), Nobotoke-an 野仏庵 (310m), Enkō-ji 圓光寺 (370m), Tea ceremony 茶会 (370m), Tanukidani Fudō-in 狸谷不動院 (600m), Saginomori-jinja 鷺森神社 (880m), Manshuin Monzeki 曼殊院門跡 (1km)
External links: ウィキペディア, Wikipedia, Wikipédia, Kyoto Navi, Trip Advisor, Kyoto Design, 京都風光, Marutake, そうだ京都, Satellite view, Map
Keywords: Japan, 日本, Japon, Kyoto, 京都, 左京区, Sakyo-ku, 金福寺, Konpuku-ji, temple, 寺院, 仏閣