Thursday, 8 May 2014
Hundreds of people from all over Japan visit Ryoanji Temple every day to see the famous rock garden. The place was converted from an aristocrat's villa to a Zen Temple in 1450 but as for the rock garden not much else is known. Nobody is certain when it was made, who designed it and what the meaning of the rock formation is.
Some think the rocks are islands in the sea whereas others think they represent tigers carrying cubs across a pond. If you visit there yourself you may find that you come up with an entirely different theory. Whatever the meaning, it is lovely to just sit, relax and view the garden.
Location: 7 minute walk from Ritsumeikandaigaku-mae bus stop (from JR Kyoto Station/Hankyu Oomiya Station) 1 minute walk from Ryoan-ji-mae bus stop (from Hankyu Sanjo Station.) Or 7 minute walk from Ryoanji-michi Station on the Keifuku Kitano Train Line.
Price: Adults ￥500 Children ￥300
Times: Open everyday. March to November 8am to 5pm. December to February 8:30am to 4:30pm.
The photo above was taken in one of the smaller gardens where there is a round stone trough with four kanji on it. When these kanji are combined with the square in the middle it cleverly makes up a Zen inscription. In the gift shop they sold a special type of traditional sweet in the shape of this stone. The sweet was made from sweetened red beans and inside was a chestnut, it was delicious!
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