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Ryoanji

Location: Kyoto, Japan

The Ryoan temple is a Zen Buddhist temple constructed in 1450 and was sponsored by many famous Zen monks as well as political figures such as Hideyoshi Toyotomi and Ieyasu Tokugawa. The Zen garden is interesting in the fact that it was inspired by a Rinzai Zen monk's perception of self and reality. Thus so much of the garden is left to one's imagination. It is said that it is impossible to see all 15 of the garden's rocks at once from any seated position of the viewing platform. There is also an interesting inscription on the "Tsukubai", which is a wash basin for the tea room. It says "ware dada taru wo shiru", which means "I learn only to be contented". The Zen monks believe that one who learns only to be contented is spiritually rich, while the one who does not learn to be contented is spiritually poor even if he is materially wealthy.

Although these photos do not do it justice, it is said that you cannot see all 15 of the stones at once.

The Rinzai Zen garden.

This is the Tsukubai. It is really hard to see the Japanese characters on the wash-basin but it says "I learn only to be contented".

Everywhere was quiet and open to nature.

The three boys looking rather well-mannered and Japanese in front of this large tomb stone, while Milan looks like he is practicing his Buddha possition for their TIES play.

The boys standing in front of a very large pond. There is always some form of stagnant... or should I say beautiful still water in the temple grounds. It is quite tranquil I must admit. This one was built in the late twelfth century.

This is the Kuri, the main building of the temple.



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The Rinzai Zen garden.

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Although these photos do not do it justice, it is said that you cannot see all 15 of the stones at once.

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Everywhere was quiet and open to nature.

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This is the Tsukubai. It is really hard to see the Japanese characters on the wash-basin but it says "I learn only to be contented".

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The three boys looking rather well-mannered and Japanese in front of this large tomb stone, while Milan looks like he is practicing his Buddha possition for their TIES play.

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The boys standing in front of a very large pond. There is always some form of stagnant... or should I say beautiful still water in the temple grounds. It is quite tranquil I must admit. This one was built in the late twelfth century.

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This is the Kuri, the main building of the temple.