We have arrived in Kyōto and are visiting 3 world known gardens.
The pond garden has many beautiful views through the trees. Because of the Cherry trees blooming now this is the best time too see the garden.
Ryoanji is most noted for its rock garden which is totally enclosed by a wall. It is about 75’ long and 30’ wide surrounded by a 10’ wall. In this Zen garden there are only 15 rocks set in sand and moss with no other plants.
This garden has no maintenance other than raking the sand every few days. It is over 500 years old. There is only one place where you can stand and see all 15 rocks.
There is a tea house attached to the garden which is also 500 years old.
The wash basin for the tea room is called a Tsukubai. It has an inscription on it that says “I learn only to be contented “
The Golden Pavilion
This temple is covered with gold sheets giving it its name. It was built around 1400.
Here are some of the beautiful views of the pond garden around the pavilion. Notice how they use the mountains in the background for part of the scenery in the garden.
The islands with the beautifully pruned pines are a delight to see:
Silver Temple (Ginkakuji Temple)
This temple and garden is not on our official tour. Several of us rented a cab to go see this fantastic garden; we didn’t even go into the temple.
The garden is on a steep hillside covered with moss, Japanese Maples and Azaleas.
The pathway through the garden is very well done in spite of the steep slope.
There are some beautiful views to Kyōto and to the surrounding mountains from the garden paths.
There is also a pond garden in the lower area.
There is a Ginshsdan sand garden near the temple. The cone shaped mound in the distance represents Mt. Fuji and the sand in the foreground represents the ocean waves. The Mt. Fuji cone is made only of sand and water. Every time it rains they have to redo it.