Sanzen-in belongs to the Tendai sect of Zen Buddhism and was founded by monk Saicho (767-822) who introduced the sect to Japan. Originally built on Mount Hiei, in 1156 was moved to Ohara, a rural village north of Kyoto. Sanzen-in is one of a few temples called “monzeki”, where the head priest used to come from the imperial family.
The Kyokuden (Reception Hall) opens up in the east and south side onto Shuheki-en garden from the Edo period (1615-1868). The garden has a small pond and the ground is covered with moss. Clipped hedge and bushes climb up the artificial hillock with a stone pagoda.
Stroll garden Yusei-en connects the buildings of the complex. Covered of moss, with the small statues called Jizo placed here and there in the garden. Carved roughly out of rocks, they take care of those who are weak, people in danger, children, unborn children and those who died young. Women pray the Jizo statues for fertility and easy childbirth.
The garden is mostly appreciated by visitors at the end of October for warm colors of maple trees on the background of the green color of the moss and cedar trees.