Remembering Ryoanji Temple

Hello readers, this post is another in a mini series of posts I am making about past Buddhist temple visits I made in Japan. During my first visit to Japan in January 2005, where I saw Kiyomizu-dera Temple, my wife, in-laws and I also visited another famous temple named Ryoanji (official homepage) a famous temple of the Rinzai Zen sect. Fair warning, these photos are old, and I have forgotten most of the details from that visit. 😅

This is the famous “rock garden” of Ryoanji, which was buried under show that day.

…that didn’t stop a young, know-it-all me from pretending to be “zen” for a moment.

I, unfortunately, didn’t take any pictures of the interior of the temple (I may not have been allowed to, I don’t recall), but we were treated to a very nice meal featuring Buddhist monastic food or shōjin-ryōri (精進料理) which is very similar to vegan food, as well as a nice view:

Ryoanji Temple is a place that has a lot of history and culture dating back to the Muromachi Period, even though it’s less active Zen monastery than before. For example, this water basin below, called the tsukubai (蹲踞) is a famous attraction:

It’s not clear from the picture, but there are 4 Chinese characters around it: 吾唯知足 which in Japanese is read as ware tada taru (wo) shiru. The meaning is that we are sufficient as we are (even as we are often unaware of this).

Lastly, the snow-covered scenery of Ryoanji had many other great views such as this one near the end:

I wish I could talk about this one more, and I would love to go back someday, but this is all I can share. Still, as an experience, it was a pretty neat one. 🙂

Published by Doug

🎵Toss a coin to your Buddhist-Philhellenic-D&D-playing-Japanese-studying-dad-joke-telling-Trekker, O Valley of Plentyyy!🎵He/him

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