Thursday, July 2, 2015


Ryogen-in is another of the two dozen subtemples of the Daitokuji temple complex. It was constructed in 1502 and its main building, the former residence of the head monk, is believed to be the oldest building within the Daitokuji complex. 

There are several different dry landscape gardens surrounding the building. The large raked gravel garden, known as Isshidan, in front of the Hojo represents the universe. The large round island of rocks and moss represents a turtle, while the two smaller rocks at the far end represent a crane, symbols of longevity and health - two symbols with which I could easily relate. The three stones in the center are linked to Horai-san, a mountain where spiritually awakened people live.

At the back of the building is another garden called Ryugin-tei. The largest rock at the center is named Shumisen-seki after an imaginary mountain believed to be at the center of the Buddhist world.