Daitokuji Zen complex
Kyoto, Kyoto Japan
Come explore the rich history and the deep significance of its many meditative gardens!
Visiting the Zen temple complex of Daitoku-ji in northern Kyoto, you will discover temples within temples. Come explore the rich history and the deep significance of its many meditative gardens.
Daitoku-ji is a walled temple complex in northern Kyoto famed for both its historical associations and its many beautiful Zen gardens. There are actually 22 sub-temples within the compound’s walls, but only four of these are open on a regular basis. Other sub-temples have occasional and irregular “special” openings, but throughout much of the year they remain closed to the general public and are dedicated to religious matters. So when peeping in at the gates of most of these temples you will see a lot of signs that say “private” and “keep out”.
This may seem a little frustrating, but actually four temples is probably about right for one day’s visit. Zen gardens are meant to be contemplated slowly and at your ease, so you don’t want to be rushing around visiting as many sites as possible. And if you view any more than four Zen gardens in one day, then all that rock and moss and raked gravel is going to start blurring together in your mind and you may, as the saying goes, get “templed out”. There are also some other locations in the vicinity of Daitoku-ji that are also worth visiting and they will add some variety to your tour.
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