My favorite ponds in Kyoto

Japanese gardens have garden stones and plants arranged around a central pond to create a scene that can be appreciated throughout the four seasons. Most of the garden ponds are small and delicate. To enjoy the immense, calm and reflective water surface, you may want to seek a bigger pond like those below.

Heian Jingu Shrine – Shinen Garden
A beautiful garden and several small ponds which are famed for iris and water lily will lead you to the grand pond. There’s a wooden bridge crossing over the pond. This bridge is a very sophisticated wooden structure featuring a small tower in the middle. The roofed passageway has long benches for sitting while you are walking over the bridge.

Daikakuji Temple – Osawa Pond
The pond was originally built for Emperor Saga’s detached palace, and was used to throw elaborate parties and for recreational activities such as boating, fishing and moon viewing. The Moon-viewing party is still held here every autumn. You can see both the brilliant moon in the night sky and the reflection on the calm surface of the water.

Nagaokatenmangu Shrine – Hachijogaike Pond
A shrine famed by it’s Kirishima azalea. The front approach to the shrine is a bridge in the middle of the pond, connecting with another winding bridge leading to the east pond. The pond was originally built for irrigation, it’s surrounding by the azalea bush.

Shugakuin Imperial Villa – Yokuryuchi Pond
There are three villas. Climbing up to the top of the upper Villa, a panoramic view of Kyoto in the distance and a beautiful pond with an island in the middle will surprise you.
※Advance reservation required.


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