Sunday, July 5, 2015


Shoren-in is a Zen temple of the Tendai sect of Japanese Buddhism. It is located along the foot of the Higashiyama mountains. 

Upon entering the Kachden drawing room, one is confronted with a series of painted sliding doors (fusuma) and a large open room with a view of the garden and pond. The room is covered with tatami mats and one can order tea and a treat to enjoy while sitting and admiring the view (which I did). Other buildings in the temple are connected via covered wooden walkways and include the large Shinden and small Shijokodo Hall. The hallways and rooms of these buildings were decorated with a variety of detailed paintings, scrolls, and objects of worship.

The garden is extensive with a trail that brings one to a tea house, climbs a hill to a small shrine, and leads into a bamboo grove. The most impressive site is the moss garden in front of the Shinden that is surrounded by massive camphor trees. The mixture of colors from the moss, plants, trees, stones, pond, and even koi fish, mades for a spectacular site.