Japan from the inside out

Zen gardens

Posted by ampontan on Thursday, March 20, 2008

AN E-MAIL MESSAGE just came in from Clare G., with a link to an article at a site called Pro Traveller (“Travel hacks for the savvy traveller”). As you can tell from the title, the site provides information on tourism and travel. The article Clare brought to my attention is titled Top 20 Zen Gardens from Around the World, which you’ll find here. The title is a bit misleading–19 of the gardens are in Japan, with the sole exception located in Portland, Oregon.

Don’t let that stop you from checking out the article, however. The photographs are excellent, there are links to more photos, and there is an informative paragraph describing each of the gardens. The one I want to visit is the moss garden at Saiho-ji in Kyoto. Thanks to Clare for passing along the link!

3 Responses to “Zen gardens”

  1. Paul said

    I’m moving to Oregon the first chance I get. With all the Japanese stuff that I hear about over there, it’d be like having a taste of Japan, except there’s no sales tax and you can legally own and carry a gun.

  2. Overthinker said

    I suspect the Saihoji is more expensive than it’s worth. Nice moss, true, but the entry ‘donation’ is ear-bleeding.
    (Wiki):Until 1977, the temple was open to admission by the general public, but currently, visitors are admitted only by prior application (by return postcard), and the fee to visit the temple (¥3,000) is the highest in Kyoto. Before being permitted access to the garden, visitors must engage in up to two hours of zazen and the hand-copying or chanting of sutras. It is said that these regulations were put into place in order to protect the delicate moss from the hordes of tourists that plagued the temple prior to 1977.
    Fair enough to protect their garden, but ouch. You’d really need to love moss. I’ll stick to the burgers….

  3. Ken said


    NHK World seems broadcasting about Zen in a TV program titled ‘Begin Japanology.’ as follows.
    Though I have not entered Koke-Dera, Ryou-An-Ji is the most authentic, I suppose.
    It is famous for the puzzle that all rocks are not seen from any angle but I think the style of borrowed outer scenery cut by both sides wall/pillow, roof and floor line like a picture is very Japanese on living with nature as is.
    By the way, Princess Grace of Monaco made Japanese garden in their palace but I wonder if it is not Zen style.
    FYR; Richard Gere is Buddhist (so he is protesting about Tibet) and brought back the prayer temple made for a film by Kurosawa to his garden in the US.

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