Sunday, October 21, 2012

JP2012 - Ryoanji

Originally a villa of the Tokudaiji Clan, the site of Japan’s most famous rock garden was converted into a Zen temple in 1450. Unfortunately, like its neighbour, Kinkakuji, Ryoanji Temple was destroyed several times and was last rebuilt in 1499.



However, this rebuilt marked the creation of a simple and remarkable Zen garden. Measuring 25 x 10 meters, only fifteen rocks and white gravel are used in its design. And interestingly, the garden had survived since the 1500s. It is also said that from any vantage point, at least one of the rocks is always hidden from the viewer.



Ryoanji's temple grounds also include a relatively spacious park area with a pond. Due to the large population of mandarin ducks, Ryoanji is also nick-named the temple of mandarin ducks.



Collectively with 16 other properties in Kyoto, Ryoanji Temple was registered as a World Heritage Site in 1994.

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