The Ryōgen-in Temple from Kyoto is famous for its 5 Japanese Zen Gardens, each of them having a special trait. I already presented the Isshidan garden, one of the most beautiful Zen gardens I have seen, and now I would like to show you Ryōgin-tei, the oldest of them, dating from the early 16th century.
Designed by a painter and landscape artist named Sōami, Ryōgin-tei is special because it is a moss covered Karesansui garden - a Zen garden where the usual sand (which symbolizes the sea) is replaced by moss, which symbolizes the forest. The tall rock from the center represents Mount Shumisen (Sumeru in Sanskrit), a mythological mountain from the Buddhist cosmology, considered the center of the world.
Moss covered Japanese Zen Garden, Ryogin-tei, Ryogen-in Temple, Kyoto
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: Masterpieces of Japanese architecture, Nakagin Capsule Tower