06 February 2016
The Ryōan-ji is a lot smaller than the photos you have seen may have led you to believe.
There is one particular rock which immediately recalls a monk meditating, elsewise, I found the rock garden itself a bit underwhelming. From postcards I saw, I believe cherry blossom branches grow over the garden wall in the spring.
The continual stream of visitors is not conducive to meditating. I had an interesting experience looking at a photo of it online before my visit. It made me chortle immensely and deeply. As if to say that such a thing could be symobilic of enlightenment is symbolic of our lack of enlightenment!
The joke is on us.
It is an enchanting experience to walk without shoes on the temple floorboards smooth trodden by so many visitors.
Faces like this are a common feature of temple rooves. I seem to remember the water runs out of the mouth as part of the gutter sometimes.
The entire grounds are lovely, displaying charming moss and interesting pruning techniques.
A temple attendent said I could have this tiny crane when she saw me looking at a tray of them. Later I gave it to a boy I saw who looked sad because his sister had one and he didn't.
Delicious sweets on the way out.
Hints of the coming beauty of autumn leaves are beginning to appear all over Kyoto.
13 October 2015