Monday, November 14, 2011
Ryoanji Temple is a Zen temple located in the north-wetern part of Kyoto and it is world-famous for its rock garden. Since Queen Elizabeth II visited this garden in 1975 and put a high value, it became famous even more.
This rock garden consists of 15 rocks and white gravel, surrounded by low walls. The white gravel is beautifully raked by priests every ten days. When we sit on the veranda to see the garden, we can feel the serene and peaceful atmosphere.
But to be honest, this time of the year, the place is too crowded to sit in meditation. If you want to experience the real essence, I recommend you to go in the early morning.
As well as the rock garden, Ryoanji Temple has another charming garden, which is completely different. It is a stroll landscape garden. In the center, there is a large pond named Oshidori Pond. You can enjoy the changing view by strolling around the pond. Really lovely.
Oshidori is a Mandarin Duck and there used to be a lot of mandarin ducks in this pond.
In Japan, Oshidori couple means an ideal couple, because they say a mandarin duck mates with only one partner during its whole life. But I'm sure this traditional value has been changing in Japan, too.