Originaly named Entsu-ji, this temple was founded under the orders of Emperor Konin in 773.
In 1345 Ashikaga Takauji established Ankoku temples in every province to honor samurai killed in battle and Entsuji was chosen to be the Izumo Ankokuji. It became a Rinzai Zen temple.
The older, traditional sects of Buddhism all had strong ties with the Imperial family and the aristocracy in Kyoto, but the shoguns chose to support the Zen sects because they were newer and with less ties to former ruling class.
The main deity worshiped here is the 11 faced Kannon.