Even to the casual observer it is obvious that Nanzen-ji is one of the most powerful temples in Japan – indeed, since 1381 it has been named the principal Zen temple in Kyoto.

The kare-sansui (dry landscape) garden of crushed rocks and shrubs with a backdrop of ‘borrowed’ scenery from the nearby hillside is said to be designed by the noted designer and tea ceremony master Kobori Enshu. Nanzen-ji’s garden is most spectacular when viewed with the November backdrop of autumn leaves.