Kyoto: Ryoanji Temple (Japan)

Ryoan-ji Temple

13 Ryoanji Goryonoshitacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-8001, Japan

Hosokawa Katsumoto (disputed)

Ryoan-ji Temple, Kyoto 04_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Ryoan-ji Temple, Kyoto 24_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Ryoanji is a serene Zen Buddhist Temple set within an extensive, beautiful garden located in north-west Kyoto. Ryōanji is said to be one of the best remaining examples of kare-sansui (dry landscape) garden, where larger rocks are carefully placed in a field of pebbles, and regularly raked into a linear pattern as a means to meditation.

Upon arrival at the site, visitors take a contemplative walk through the garden, but the care and detail of placement of every element, of entry gates, pebble drains, kinked stone paths, water fountains and constantly realigned views is almost as important as the temple itself. Here you get to learn about how every little element matters, how attention to detail makes a greater whole, and especially how much the experience of a place matters.

Entry Path

Temple

Exit

 

Further Information:

Place: Ryoanji Temple

Architect: Hosokawa Katsumoto (disputed)

Photographer: Stephen Varady

Review: Referenced by Steven Holl in his book ‘Architecture Spoken, 2006’ and ‘A+U – Questions of Perception, 1994’.

Map: Ryoan-ji Temple Map

 

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