Enkoji was founded in 1601 by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the shogun who brought about the Edo Period (1603-1867). The temple also served as a school that was open to the common public. Enkoji's principal object of worship is a statue of the thousand-armed Kannon Bodhisattva.
In its courtyard, Enkoji has a beautiful garden with a pond and many maple trees. It provides lovely views of greenery in summer and stunning fall colors in autumn. Do not miss the short climb up the hill behind the garden, from where a bird's eye view of the temple and the city can be seen. Another feature of the garden is an underground water basin that allows visitors to appreciated the delicate sound of dripping water.
Enkoji Temple is located northeast of central Kyoto. It can be reached on foot in about 15 minutes from Shugakuin or Ichijoji Station along the Eizan Railways or in about 20 minutes from the Shugakuin Imperial Villa.
From Kyoto Station, take the JR Nara Line to Tofukuji Station, transfer to the Keihan Main Line and alight at the final stop Demachiyanagi Station. From there, take the Eizan Railways to Ichijoji Station. The whole trip takes about 40 minutes and costs 620 yen one way.
Take bus number 5 from Kyoto Station to the Ichijoji Sagarimatsucho (一乗寺下り松町) bus stop. The bus ride takes about 50 minutes and costs 280 yen one way. From the bus stop, the temple can be reached in a 5-10 minute walk.