Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ryoan-Ji Temple

The Ryoan-ji Temple complex is a wonderful aesthetic area that has been around Kyoto for hundreds of years. We visited Ryoan-ji early in the morning it was rainy yet not cold and everyone was getting a little wet. We went in the back way because there were lots of school children that day. Once everyone was inside we shuffled to the main area with our tour guide and Taka as our translator. As we continued through Ryoan-ji we came upon the famous Zen Buddhist Rock Garden.
This Garden is known world wide for its beauty and the 15 rocks that can not be seen at the same time unless you are enlightened. Unless your 6'10" you wont be seeing all 15 rocks from any direction or your on the roof.

After we learned about the rock garden we moved further into the temple into an area not many visitors get to see. It was the temple's Founder shrine. We were not allowed to take pictures, but the wood was over 1,000 years old and there was a beautiful painting of a dragon holding the temple crest in its claw and there was a shrine to the master of the temple. We moved on to the temple tea room and were also not allowed to take pictures. The most beautiful part of the temple had to be the rock garden and some of the garden area in front of the temple.

The torii gates are almost everywhere you turn in the Temples and are amazingly ornate. Every Torii had a temple Crest and Kanji that stood for the shrine it was in front of. The size of the temple was just massive for the area it seemed to stand in. This experience I will never forget and I recommend this site to any visitor of Kyoto.

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