Zuiho-in is one of two dozen subtemples of the Daitokuji temple, a Zen Buddhist temple complex of the Rinzai sect located in northern Kyoto.
Although one of the smallest subtemples, I found Zuiho-in to be one of the most spectacular I was able to visit in Kyoto. The temple was built in 1535 by a warlord from Kyushu who later converted to Christianity.
The temple’s main garden features gravel raked in distinct, high peaked patterns, invoking the image of rough seas. The stones and surrounding moss give the impression of islands off in the distance.
Honestly, I was stunned by this rock garden. Although I visited the temple in the afternoon, there were very few people present. As a result, I had ample opportunity to reflect on the significance of the garden. Its appearance was beyond words, and after much reflection I was brought to tears by its beauty. I am very thankful that I have lived long enough to see such a site.