The best season in Kyoto to enjoy breath taking fall foliage would be around 3rd week of November. Nanzenji Temple will be among the first choice to enjoy fall foliage in Kyoto.
Nanzenji is one of the most well known Rinzai Zen temples in Japan. Emperor Kameyama loved this beautifull place so much that in 1264, he built his detached palace here.
Later he became a student of the Zen Master Bussin Daimin Kokushi and he dedicated the palace as a Zen temple in 1291.
A characteristic of the history of this temple is that its abbot was always chosen at the best Rinzai Zen Master in each period.
Since the temple was first established by Emperor Kameyama, three fires have destroyed the original buildings. (late 16th century)
This canal, called “Sosui”, is a waterway constructed between Lake Biwa and Kyoto City. The water is drawn out at Otsu City in Shiga Prefecture, passes the Nanzen-ji Temple, and runs to Keage at Higashiyama-ku in Kyoto City.
The construction of this canal was begun in 1881, and finished in 1890. The purposes of this canal lie at passing boats from Osaka Bay to Lake Biwa, spinning cotton by the energy of water wheels, irrigating water, keeping water for fire prevention and so on.
By and by, in 1889 when the hydroelectricity seemed to be very profitable, the first power plant began to built at Kaege, and in 1891, started to supply electric power.
The Emperor Kameyama, who became a priest at a detached palace in 1289,became the Grand Emperor. He contributed the detached palace, which became a Zen temple. Daimin-kokushi was the first chief priest of it. This place is ruins of the detached palace and also the cradle of the Nanzen-ji Temple. The garden remains traces of its former shadows. This is the typical garden made at the end of the Kamakura Era, where you can walk around the ponds and springs here and there in the background of deep, green forests with profound and quiet elegance. The man who made this garden is said to be the Grand Emperor Kameyama. This garden is specified as one of the three scenic and historic spots in Kyoto City.
[posted by Seki]