Actually, we approached from Kanteibyo Temple, and you first come across a park... a park which has it's own sordid personal tale. My wife and I were busy trying to find a decent restaurant that wasn't closed on a Wednesday. In the mean-time our son had gone off to get a drink from a park public tap (don't forget it's a like about 130% humidity, and about 38degrees Celsius - the century mark in Fahrenheit). There was already an older Japanese child at the faucet playing, whom had decided it would be fun to annoy my son by not letting him drink. At this point, L-kun proceeded to start crying. Never a good moment in the steamy heat of a summer. In a moment of parenting protectiveness I told the boy off in my best stern parenting Japanese... at which point he started to cry (I'm sure he's not been told off by many gaijin before, and it's most probably scarred him for life). The moral of the story... well, there most probably was no moral, but I have to admit that I kinda felt ashamed of myself afterwards. T-chan quietly ignored all of the shenanigans, and was too busy conferring with Okaasan about which restaurants we should try.
The temple gates are guarded by two of the blingiest lions I've ever seen! It's weird to find "metallic" mirror and tassle adorned sculptures, not least as part of a temple grounds.
The temple itself is raised up on an elevated position, a great vantage point from which to hang hundreds of lanterns, and also a providing a great perspective with which to view the intricate series of beams. It's not all gaudy show.