Ioji Temple Garden is composed of two main gardens: The Garden of Dry Mountains and Waters which has been attributed somewhat erroneously to Kobori Enshu, who once visited the temple. Directly south of the main hall is the so-called Water Garden although there is no pond nor waterfall, it may be called that for the undulating shrubs give the impression of water. Ioji Temple Gardens use the style of landscape gardening of the early Ido period using a very large space - an area of 1,000 square meters from the north garden to the reception hall once used for state ceremonies. Old garden of dry landscape Japanese garden has another view that uses the garden designs of Enshu Kobori. Although there is no specific record of Enshu actually taking part of the design of the garden, its style conforms to Enshu’s style and he did indeed visit here at one time. The three prominent stones at the top of the hillock are the showcase of the garden and its main focal point. The shrubs surrounding the stones are satsukiin bloom in May. On the south side of the main hall, the design of the “Water Garden" is more gentle with sculpted shrubs, adding stillness and contrast to the adjacent western garden. There is also a small garden in front of the main hall, covered with moss called “Moss Garden of Tokai".
- ©John Lander
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