A little temple erected in a rural village at the foot of the Yatsugatake, in early November Choen-ji turns into a piece of art. This time of year, a dazzling autumn foliage corridor ushers the visitors to the main hall, a golden path of Ginkgo leaves below their feet and the sky ablaze with red Momiji above their heads.
The most beautiful corner of the temple is perhaps the water lily pond, where a hundred stone statuettes of the buddha are reflected in the water beneath the centenary maple trees.
Other seasons are not any less beautiful. In spring the air is filled with the fragrance of the 300-year-old chestnut tree and Chinese fringe tree white blossoms, while in summer you can gaze at the golden flowers of the Japanese rain tree.