August 25, 2015

Ryoan-ji Temple

Ryoan-ji Temple

Ryoan-ji temple houses the most famous zen rock garden in Japan which was the simplest garden I've seen - it consist of fifteen rocks laid out in raked white gravel. The garden is an example of kare sansui (dry landscape) style. The rocks were arranged such that at any angle or point you look at, you could only see 14 rocks.

View from the platform of the rock garden.

There was less crowd during our visit so I took the time to sit on the platform and look at the garden. I've read in some reviews that this garden isn't worth the visit - that there's nothing to see or experience. I'm glad I didn't believe what I read.

Ryoan-ji rock garden.

I took my time watching the garden and just forget everything else. I never thought that such simple arrangement of rocks and pebbles is very relaxing to look at. The sun was also helping because it was freezing that time.

There are no records of when the garden was constructed and its meaning is also not clear which makes it more mysterious. I guess the meaning of the garden depends on your perception, on what you feel when looking at it. What I realized here is a lot of things in life is simple yet most of us make it complicated although you also have the option of not thinking what this garden means - just relax and enjoy its simplicity.

The temple also boasts beautiful and stunning gardens.

How to get there:

Coming from Ninnaji Temple, take City bus 59 and get off at Ryoanji mae.

Opening Hours and fees: 

Opening Hours: 0800H - 1700H (Mar - Nov), 0830H-1630H (Dec-Feb)
Fees: 500 yen (Adult), 300 Yen (Children under 15)

Website: Ryoanji Temple

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