Ryouan-ji Temple(龍安寺)
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Ryouan-ji Temple(龍安寺)

1. Location-Access

It is located at the foot of Mt. Kinugasa near the Golden Pavilion in Kitayama Mountain Area.
Nearest station is Ryoan-ji station in Keifuku Line and ten minute walking.

2. Who was built this temple?

1) In 1450, this temple was built by a priest of Myoshin-ji Temple in the villa of Katsumoto Hosokawa and was named “Ryouan-ji Temple”. This temple belongs to the Myoshin-ji Temple Group of Rinzao Sect Buddism.
2) In 1488, the Hojou (abbot’s quarters) was restored, and then many oher building were damaged by fire during ie Ounin-no-ran(wars, 1467-77). All these building were damaged by HOSOKAWZA Masamoto.
3) However, all these buildings were destroyed by fire. The present serves as the main hall in 1606, and relocated to the sight of the Ryouan-ji.
4) The temple garden,which lie on the south side of Hojou, is thought to date from the 15-th century. It is popularly called the Seki-tei(rock and gravel garden) and the selling point of Ryouan-ji. The rock garden was later completed by Soami, a painter and gardener in 16th century and ecame popular since then.

3. What is this temple famous for ?

1) Seki-tei 石庭

The Seki-tei is comprised of 15 rocks in fire groupongs which are arranged on a bed of gravel. It is well-known throughtout the world as the typical example of the Kare-sansui(dry landscape) rock garden. In the garden we can see nature compressed and giving abstract expression wihthin limited space.

2) Garden  庭園

The garden is called “ Tisekaiya-teien”. There is a big pond in the center of garden, and walk around the surrounding garden>

3)Was made a World Heritage Site in 1994.

Was made a World Heritage Site in 1994.


4. What is highlight ?

1) There are actually 5 big rocks,10 smaller stones and white sand in this garden.This garden is famous fo “Karesansui” without water.
2) The samon is marked by priest once a week so as to express water.
3) The white sand is spread out and raked just like a wave of sea in a geometrical design.
4) It is up to each visitors to find out for himself or herself what this unique garden has a special meaning.
5) The longer we look at this garden, the more various imagination may come our mind.
6) After observing or meditating enough this unique and rectangular garden(30m@10m), we all go around the temple building to see the Buddhism alter rooms and back yard.
7) After all, it is quite free to appreciate this garden in a concept of Zen Buddhism or in your own imagination.
8) 15 rocks and stones have the individual interpretation.
Why don’t you sit down here and contemplate what the artist was trying to communicate?
(15個の石は、個々に解釈があるだろう。ここに座ってみて、悟った人が何かを 話しかけようとしているのでは?)