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One Day Tour of Engyoji Temple and Koko-en Garden in Himeji

Day Trip

Kashima H.

4.57(53) reviews
Himeji
English, Japanese (Native)
9 hours
Private tour (only you and your group)
Up to 8 people

This tour include Engyoji temple and Koko-en garden.

You can feel Buddhism temple atmosphere in Engyoji that is the filming location of the Hollywood movie of “Last Samurai”.

Koko-en in the west of Himeji castle consists of 9 gardens divided by mud wall with a roof.

This garden creates historical atmosphere with magnificent view of Himeji castle using the gardening techniques in the Edo period.

Meeting Point

At your hotel in Kobe

11:00 AM

To take Ropeway from the foot of Shoshazan mountain to the entranc of Engyoji temple

Engyoji temple was founded in 966 of Heian era as esoteric Tendai sect. This temple which is called as the west side of Hieizan Enryakuji temple is located around 6km north-west from Himeji castle. The altitude of the temple is 371 meter on the top of Shoshazan mountain and the way to reach there is to take Ropeway from the foot to the entrance path and to take a special bus to move to Maniden temple.


11:30 AM

To see Maniden:

This building was established in 970 by Saint Seiku. He made Kannon statue carved inside a Cherry tree and built polls surrounding the tree with a roof attached. That is why the temple was located on the mountainside with a large veranda jutting out over the hillside. This building was burned down several times and restored in 1933 as current figure.

12:30 PM

To move to Nishitani and see MitsunoDo: (Daikodo, Jikido, Jyogyodo)

Daikodo is the main hall of Engyoji temple and established in 986. Current building is restored in Muromachi era of 15th century. Many monks had listened to the sutra lecture, executed Zazen and discussion at this building. The principle image is Gautama Buddha with flanking image as Fugen Bosatsu and Monju Bosatsu. Jikido was established in 1174 and it was used as the place where trainee monks had sleep and eat. The principle image is Monju Bosatsu. The year of establishment of Jyogyodo is unknown. The stage facing to Daikodo inside this building was prepared where dancing and Japanese court music had been held to dedicate Gautama Buddha. The principle image of this buiding is Amitaba.

02:00 PM

To move to Koko-en by taking a bus and Ropeway and taking a lunch

Japanese garden “Koko-en” was constructed in 1992 at the exact site of Nishi-Oyashiki (Lord’s West Residence) with Himeji castle, one of the world cultural heritages, as a background.

03:30 PM

To see Koko-en

The area of Koko-en garden is about 3.5ha and it is composed of nine different gardens divided by mud wall with a roof, built on the archaecologically excavated site of Samurai houses and roads. Using the gardening techniques in the Edo period (1600-1860) as a good model. Koko-en creates historical atmosphere with magnificent view of Himeji castle. There are many gorgeous carps found in the garden pond of Samurai residence

Ending Point

At your hotel in Kobe

What to Expect

1. Engyoji temple:

This place was the filming location of the famous Hollywood movie of “Last Samurai” and Japanese large-scale historical drama.

Engyoji temple was founded in 966 of Heian era as esoteric Tendai sect.

This temple which is called as the west side of Hieizan Enryakuji temple is located around 6km north-west from Himeji castle. The altitude of the temple is 371 meter on the top of Shoshazan mountain and the way to reach there is to take Ropeway from the foot to the entrance path and to take a special bus to move to Maniden temple.

The precincts are divided mainly by three as follows.

Area1: Higashitani from Niomon to Jyumyoin / It will take around 8 minutes.

Area2: Nakatani from Jyumyoji to Maniden / It will take around 4 minutes.

Area3: Nishitani from Maniden to inner shrine including Daikodo, Jyogyodo and Kaizando: It will take around 8 minutes.

To shorten to reach main spots of Atrea3, you can take a special bus from the entrance office to Maniden by around 10 minutes.

I recommend you to take the bus.

The area of Nishitani is the place where “Last Samurai” of Hollywood movie was filmed. The director of the movie was in a minute impressed about the area and decided to take the movie there.

Many craftsmen in Japan at the period were gathered and they built those temple buildings and arts such as Buddhism statue and paintings by using most advanced technology at the time.

Now, this temple has become very famous with the harmony between historical importance and nature.

Followings are brief explanation about main buildings in Engyoji temple.

1). Maniden:

This building was established in 970 by Saint Seiku. He made Kannon statue carved inside a Cherry tree and built polls surrounding the tree with a roof attached. That is why the temple was located on the mountainside with a large veranda jutting out over the hillside. This building was burned down several times and restored in 1933 as current figure.

2).MitsunoDo: (Daikodo, Jikido, Jyogyodo)

a) Daikodo: Daikodo is the main hall of Engyoji temple and established in 986. Current building is restored in Muromachi era of 15th century. Many monks had listened to the sutra lecture, executed Zazen and discussion at this building. The principle image is Gautama Buddha with flanking image as Fugen Bosatsu and Monju Bosatsu.

b) Jikido: Jikido was established in 1174 and it was used as the place where trainee monks had sleep and eat.

The principle image is Monju Bosatsu.

c) Jyogyodo:

The year of establishment of Jyogyodo is unknown. The stage facing to Daikodo inside this building was prepared where dancing and Japanese court music had been held to dedicate Gautama Buddha. The principle image of this buiding is Amitaba.

Mitsunodo:

These three buildings (Daikodo, Jikido, Jyogyodo) are lined up with U-shaped and the generic name of these three buildings are called as Mitsunodo. The center space of the U-shaped building is perfectly cleaned surrounded by three buildings and make people felt strange by the calm and mysterious atmosphere.

2. Koko-en garden:

Japanese garden “Koko-en” was constructed in 1992 at the exact site of Nishi-Oyasjhiki (Lord’s West Residence) with Himeji castle, one of the world cultural heritages, as a background. The area of this garden is about 3.5ha and it is composed of nine different gardens divided by mud wall with a roof, built on the archaecologically excavated site of Samurai houses and roads. Using the gardening techniques in the Edo period (1600-1860) as a good model. Koko-en creates historical atmosphere with magnificent view of Himeji castle.

You can find gates, walls, connecting corridors and so-on which are reproduced for the buildings in Edo era(1603 – 1867). You can enjoy the harmony mixed with beauty of the garden and Japanese traditional buildings.

a) Connecting corridors in the garden of Samurai residence

Many famous Japanese historical movies and TV drama of have used this place as filming location.

b) Veranda in Choonsai Samurai residence from where you can see beautiful harvest moon.

c) There are many gorgeous carps found in the garden pond of Samurai residence


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Inclusions & Exclusions

What‘s included

Guide fee

What‘s not included

Pick up fee for a guide: yen2000

Total of your transportaion fee during this tour for you (JR, bus and Ropeway): yen3480 per person

Transportation fee for a guide of yen3480

Lunch fee for you and a guide

Entrance fee: Engyoji temple for you: yen500 per person, Koko-en garden: yen300 per person,


Important Information

I am now living in Gunma prefecture located around 100km north from Tokyo. Therefore, if you reserve Kansai area such as Kyoto, Nara, Kobe and Osaka, please request me at least one week in advance. We can exchange the idea of the tour.

1) For fairly long walking of sight-seeing, please put on the shoes to walk with ease.

2) Please prepare the cash to spend any train riding, lunch and souvenir.

Cancellation Policy

  • Free cancellation - 8 days prior to meeting time
  • 50% Refund - 3 to 7 days prior to meeting time
  • No Refund - Within 2 day(s) prior to meeting time

Reviews

L

Linda H.

Jan 28, 2020

Passionate about Japan

Kashima was flexible and knowledgeable. We had an itinerary we wanted and he made it happen. We had a group of 14 which included 8 kids. He handled it fabulously!

Kashima H.

Linda san, Thank you very much for your great and inspired review for me. It was great time for me to support you,your family and your friends with total 14 people for Mt.Fuji tour. We visited Mt.Fuji area such as Lake-Kawaguchi, Fugaku-Fuketsu, Mt.KachiKachi viewing by Ropeway, Ohhashi bridge hiking over Lake Kawaguchi, Ohishi park and Oshino Hakkai by using a Micro bus. The weather on the day was very fine and I was pleased that all your group could see no more beautiful Mt.Fuji at every visiting spots with the shape of different angle. Specially, I was very much impressed that all 8 kids enjoyed snow and throwing snowball each other which were piled up on the area because they saw actual snow at the first time there. Also, we could enjoy exchanging lots of conversation with you and your group about Japanese history, culture, famous people and daily life comparing with that in your country. I am looking forward to meeting with you again in near future. Thanks, Kashima

D

Diane R.

Dec 31, 2019

Wonderful daytrip from Kyoto to Osaka

Kashima is very good guide who was extremely accommodating and took our U.S. family of 5 round trip from Kyoto to Osaka by train. He planned a very interesting day for us that we enjoyed immensely. A nice variety of sights and experiences at a good active pace. Definitely recommend!

Kashima H.

Diane san, Thank you very much for your warm and utmost review for me. It was great time for me to support you and your family for Osaka tour. We visited Osaka castle, Dotonbori including river cruising, Kuromon market and Umeda sky building. I am very much pleased that you, your husband and your three children could have lots of experience and impression of these tour spots. Specially, Osaka castle related with Samurai top worriers with great historical background, the best eating streets in Japan by tasting various interesting foods and overwhelming Osaka night view from Umeda Sky building. Also, we could enjoy exchanging lots of conversation with you and your family about Japanese culture and daily life comparing with that in your country. I hope that you continue to enjoy Japan tour and I am looking forward to meeting with you and your family again in near future. Thanks, Kashima

I

I-lin L.

Dec 6, 2019

Hiroshima Day Tour

I organised this tour on behalf of a teenager who is fascinated with the Yamato battleship so this tour had to be very customised and Kashima-San lived up to the challenge! The boy really enjoyed himself. The guide spoke good English, very polite and respectful and he was flexible with the schedule. In fact the family said that they would highly recommend Kashima-San to others who visits Hiroshima!

Kashima H.

I-Lin san, Thank you very much for your great and utmost review for me. It was great time for me to support your mother and your family for Hiroshima tour. We visited Yamato-museum where we could see the models (1/10) of Battleship named “Yamato” and lots of other ships and actual objects of submarine & airplane “Zero fighter plane”. There are many historical background explanations, photos and actual objects & ship models exhibited which are historically very important ones manufactured before and during World War2. Also, we visited Atomic bomb dome and Peace memorial museum. I am pleased that we could enjoyed a lot. Specially, your mother's young boy is so clever and has lots of knowledge about Yamato and related Japanese history. I am so much impressive for him. He has so strong curiosity about the tour spots history and we could exchange lots of information each other. I am looking forward to meeting with you and your family again in near future. Thanks, Kashima

M

May bn N.

Nov 11, 2019

A day at Miyajima/Hiroshima

Kashima-san organized the timing of the trip very well. Even there were situation where stayed longer than, he did an effort to change the timing of Shinkansen tickets and didn’t try to rush us. He well explained to us history of places we visit and patiently responded to all our questions.

Kashima H.

May san, Thank you very much for your great review for me and selecting me as a guide for you precious Hiroshima tour, I am very much pleased that you and your friends could enjoy Hiroshima tour including Miyajima island, Itsukushima shrine, Hiroshima Peace Memorial museum and Atomic dome. These tour spots are historically one of the most important tour spots in Japan which are registered as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Thanks to your strong curiosity, we could exchange lots of deep Q & A about Itsukushima shrine and the detail information of Atomic Bomb attack in Hiroshima city. I am looking forward to meeting with you again in near future. Thanks, Kashima

$253/ per group

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