My first trip to Kyoto was back in April 2006. On my list were many famous temples including Daitoku-ji.
However, I didn’t visit the Zuiho-in sub-temple back then.
In 2014 and 2015, I visited Kyoto again, also Daitoku-ji, but only for special autumn openings and Zuiho-in was not on that list.
Finally, in 2019, I was back in Daitoku-ji and finally visited the gardens I previously missed.
While I loved Ryogen-in too, Zuiho-in was so nice to visit! We had the garden all to ourselves for around two hours and just sat there peacefully.
Zuiho-in has two main gardens, which are both designed as dry landscape gardens.
These gardens were built in the 1960s by the Kyoto Garden Association and designed by Shigemori Mirei.
The first garden is the Dokuza-tei, a garden for meditation and contemplation. The second garden is very special among the dry landscape gardens because it shows homage to the Christian daimyo founder of this temple – a hidden cross within the stone setting!
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