Kouun-ji (pronnounced Ko-un-ji) was founded in 1212 in Osaka, but moved to Kyoto in 1661. In Kyoto the temple used to be much larger, but was destroyed by fire (possibly during the Onin war) and only a part of it was rebuilt at the time of the Meiji restoration. The garden itself was only created in the early 20th century by famous landscape gardener Ogawa Jihei (小川治兵衛), in the chisen-kaiyu style (pond with surrounding path).
The temple was only very recently opened to the public, but only a couple of weeks per year (usually in autumn). The garden in front of the mail hall was revamped in 2009~2010. The larger garden in the back (the one from Jihei-san) has a large pond with numerous carps (koi) that are the most physically fit I have ever seen: even in late November some would jump out of the water and travel in the air for a meter or more. Incessantly. The garden can be admired from the temple buildings located on two of its sides. The west wing is for those who order a green tea/sweet set (macha and wagashi), which I would recommend as the tea is very good there. The monks were also friendly and opened the doors to let me take pictures.
Kouun-ji is a sub-temple of Nanzen-ji (南禅寺) and is located north of the latter, near the south end of the Philosopher's path (哲学の道).
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Nearby: Ōtoyo-jinja 大豊神社 (170m), Eikan-dō 永観堂 (310m), Sakuradanicho 47 桜谷町47 (350m), Wachu-an 和中庵 (400m), Anraku-ji 安楽寺 (440m), Reikan-ji 霊鑑寺 (440m), Seiryu-tei 清流亭 (540m), Yōji-ya よーじや銀閣寺店 (570m), Saiun-in 西雲院 (640m), Saishō-in 最勝院 (710m),...
External links: Website, Kyoto Navi, 京都風光, Satellite view, Map
Keywords: Japan, 日本, Japon, Kyoto, 京都, 左京区, Sakyo-ku, Nanzen-ji, 南禅寺, 瑞龍山南禅寺, temple, 寺院, 仏閣, 光雲寺, Koun-ji