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Daitoku-ji Ryōgen-in
大徳寺 龍源院

As one of the oldest sub-temples within Daitoku-ji (est. in 1502), Ryōgen-in is also said to have the oldest Hōjō-style building in all of Japan. This temple has gardens dating back to the 13th century. Although not particularly “spectacular” for photographic eyes, the gardens invite you to sit down and engage in moments of contemplation. As with other Zen temples, the main karesansui garden faces south, whereas smaller gardens are located along the other sides and buildings. I personally like Ryōgen-in’s small inner courtyard garden, which is a joy to see on a snowy winter morning, when white snow provides contrast to the gray gravel. Unlike other sub-temples of Daitoku-ji, this temple is open year-round, allows photography, and tends not to get too busy even during the high seasons.

Shinnyodo 2017.jpg

A winter's day.

Summer 夏
Winter 冬
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