Nanzenji Temple (南禅寺)

 Nanzenji Temple is the headquarters of the Nanzenji School of the Rinzaisect of Zen Buddhism. The detached palace established by Emperor Kameyama for his mother, Omiyain, was converted int the temple in 1291. In1334, it became the first in the ranking system of the Kyoto Gozan (five great Zen temples in Kyoto). Later, Shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga ranked it the highest, even above the five temples.
The Hojo (main building, National Treasure) comprises Oo (Large)-hojo (Seiryo-den) and Ko (Small)-hojo, Many of the wall paintings in these halls are designated as Important Cultural Assets. Sho-hojo has a room named “Tora-no Ma (Room of Tigers)” with “Gunko Zu (Picture of Gathered Tigers, Important Cultural Asset),” reportedly drawn by Tanyu Kano. The garden in front of Oo-hojo is a representative rock and sand garden reportedly made by Enshu Kobori, the design of which is famous as Tora-no-ko-watashi (a mother tiger trying to let her cubs cross a river).
The huge, Zen-style Sanmon Gate (Important Cultural Asset) was donated by Takatora Todo. From its top, you can enjoy a fine view of Kyoto City. In the southeast of the precinct stands the beautiful Suirokaku; a tall raised waterway made of bricks that is part of the Biwako-sosui canal.