Ryoan-ji Temple

Known nationally for its beauty, Kyoyochi pond is also called Oshidori-ike or Mandarin Duck Pond because of the flocks of such ducks that gather at the pond

The ultimate in rock garden landscapes offering contemplation of Zen

In 1450, Katsumoto Hosokawa acquired a villa here and turned it into a Myoshin-ji sect temple headed by Osho Giten. However, it burned down in the Onin War, but was rebuilt by Katsumoto’s son Masamoto in 1488. Apparently, the rock garden was laid at this time. Again, fire struck in 1797, and the abbot’s chamber, founding hall and the Buddha hall were lost to the flames, so the abbot’s chambers from the sub temple Seigen-in were shifted to the site to make replacements. The temple and gardens are inscribed on the World Heritage List.
Although, who made the garden is unclear, it intrigues visitors without fail. Small, at about 248 square meters, walled on three sides and facing onto the temple on the other, this extremely simple garden has just 15 small-to-large stones positioned within its rectangular shape-yet, it is extremely abstract and patently influenced by the Zen ethos, making it a richly rewarding garden.
The temple also has many other ancient, notable features, such as the 12th century Kyoyochi pond, camellias that Hideyoshi supposedly praised, and a famous stone basin (tsukubai).



What other name is the rock garden known by?

Address 13 Ryoanji Goryonoshita-cho, Ukyo-ku
TEL 075-463-2216
FAX 075-463-2218
URL http://www.ryoanji.jp
Hours 8:00~17:30 (entry by 17:00), 8:30~17:00 (entry by 16:30) from Dec to Feb
Closed Open daily
Adm Adults ¥600,High school 500円, Elementary and junior high school students ¥300
Access A 7-min walk from Randen Ryoanji Stn/Very close to Ryoanji-mae Stop of City Bus
Parking Available (first hour free for visitors only)

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photo:Kyoto City Saga Toriimoto Town Preservation Center

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