Temple Garden Shoren-in.
One of the four gardens that surround and protect the temple Shoren-in (Kyoto).
Credit: Duncan WJ Palmer
Under the imperious protection of the camphor
Trees tower over the entrance, towering trees, some over seven hundred years old, guarding the temple. The sound of birds calling, wind in the leaves, silence.
The Shorenin temple, which was the residence of the founder of the Tendai Buddhist sect, Dengyo (767-822), is embellished with four gardens created between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, while the current buildings, destroyed by fire in 1893, were rebuilt in 1895.
A little-visited site, its outdoor spaces include tiny ponds and fountains, alongside a strangely solemn dry garden and moss garden. Make sure you take off your shoes before entering the temple, then glide silently and lightly along the halls.