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Ryoan-ji temple

Kare-sansui zen garden of Ryoanji temple

There are three sects of Zen. One of them is Rinzai school. The largest branch of the school is Myoshin-ji.

Ryoan-ji temple which belongs to this branch is a very popular tourist attraction in Kyoto. Although Kiyomizu temple or Golden pavilion is much famous among Japanese, Ryoanji is definitely a place to visit when you are in Kyoto. It is known as the British Queen, Elizabeth II requested to visit Ryoan-ji during her official visit to Japan in 1975.

Then, the highlight of the temple is needless to say, the Kare-sansui(dry landscape), rock zen garden. Kare-sansui is a style of Japanese garden without using water. Instead of using water, sand, stone and rock are used to show the landscape of mountain and river.

Queen Elizabeth II was impressed by the rock zen garden, and therefore not only the temple, but also Zen itself was introduced widely to the world.

Ryoan-ji temple can be reached by Kyoto city bus 59 from Kyoto station. The bus stop is Ryoan-ji mae which is close to the temple. There is also JR bus Takao-Keihoku line which Japan Rail pass holder can use.

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