Ryoanji   竜安寺

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Ryoanji Temple

Dry garden of Ryoanji temple.

Ryoanji Temple

Stone Buddha of Ryoanji temple.

The epitome of zen

Made famous by its incredible zen garden, more than the temple itself. This is a must see attraction in Kyoto. 

The clicks of a camera break the calm. A tourist stirs and sneaks by, moving on. In front of him, the infinite remains motionless and unruffled.

The Ryoanji temple of Buddhist school Zen Rinzai, built in 1450, is visited and revisited for its iconic dry garden (kare sansui), consisting solely of large and small stones; no water, and no plants. Lost in the immensity of this symbolic sea of ​​white gravel, the fifteen basalt rocks that punctuate it are the subject of endless interpretations as to their meaning. Their origin itself is shrouded in mystery in this rectangular garden of two hundred square meters. Although the date of creation is uncertain, it may have been designed by the landscape painter Shinso Soami (1455-1525) in 1499. With its fascinating symbolism, the site has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mathematical hide and seek

Ryoanji has a little game you must play to discover its astonishing secret. The fifteen stones have been arranged in such a way that visitors can only ever see a maximum of fourteen at any point. Along a wooden walkway, contemplation switches in abstraction celebrated cult of pure mineral, sacred ancestral metaphors. A dry and arid sea, dotted with islands, a vast star-studded cosmos... An enigma.

Eclipsed by the fame of its garden, the temple is much less popular in spite of its magnificence, as well as the magnificent "Mirror Lake", the kyôyô chi, which borders the temple. A great get away from the crowds of the dry garden, to enjoy the elements.

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