Jo-an was originally built in 1618 as part of a temple complex in Kyoto alongside a study room called Shodenin Shoin. It was built by Oda Uraku, a younger brother of the great Oda Nobunaga and a disciple of Sen-no-Rikyu, Japan's most famous tea ceremony master.
In 1972, the study and the teahouse were moved from Kyoto to its present location in Urakuen, which was named after Oda Uraku. Today, visitors to this serene landscape garden can view both Shodenin Shoin and Jo-an from the outside.
Also located at Urakuen's tranquil precincts are a bamboo grove and the Koan teahouse where visitors can enjoy tea and sweets for an additional fee. Usually in the second half of November, the garden's lush greenery offers some nice autumn colors.