JAPAN HERITAGE Kyoto: Temple gardens unique, enchanting
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
of Kyoto's Ryoanji temple renowned for a garden with rocks, pebbles and sand.(ASAHI SHIMBUN FILE PHOTO)
Of course Kyoto has its share of Buddhist statues and religious architecture, but what really sets the city apart are its magnificent temple gardens. For centuries these enchanting creations have lured millions of visitors and influenced the work of landscape gardeners.
Many of the best of these gardens are conveniently located in west Kyoto.
A visit to what is possibly the most famous garden in the world reveals neither blue-green vines nor blushing flowers. Instead visitors to Ryoanji, a temple dating back to 1450, must be content to contemplate rocks, pebbles and sand. Located in Kyoto's Ukyo Ward, the temple is operated by the Myoshinji branch of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism.
The sublime garden is said to represent the pinnacle of the kare sansui, or dry landscape style.
And to keep it that way, the temple's patron and fierce warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-98) banned moving any of the rocks.
Tourists weary of rocks and shades of gray are advised to make another stop in Nishikyo Ward, at Saihoji. Think green as you step lightly through Kokedera, or moss temple, home to a fabulous garden featuring 120 types of moss. (Reservations must be made for visits.)
It is also a Zen temple, belonging to the Rinzai sect. Although a temple has always stood there, the temple by the current name was formally established in 1339.
The all-too-famous golden pavilion at Rokuonji, popularly known as Kinkakuji, can be found in Kita Ward. Glorified in Yukio Mishima's novel with the translated title of "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion," it is usually a must see. Other sections of the temple are open to the public.
The temple belongs to the Shokokuji branch of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism.
All three of these temples were listed as World Heritage sites in 1994.
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For Kinkakuji, take City Bus route No. 12 or 59 from Kyoto Station to Kinkakuji-mae stop or route No. 204 or 205 to Kinkakuji-michi stop, a ride of 30 minutes in both cases. The temple is a couple of minutes walk from either stop.
Ryoanji is a three-minute walk from Kinkakuji.
For Saihoji, take No. 73 or 83 bus from Kyoto Station and get off at Kokedera stop, a ride of 45 minutes. The temple is a 3-minute walk from the stop. Visits to the temple and its moss garden are by reservation only. Call 075-391-3631. Visit (kyokanko.or.jp) or (www.pref.kyoto.jp/visitkyoto/en).
地時間週六夜間﹐一艘在中國註冊的運煤船在澳大利亞大堡礁海洋公園(Great Barrier Reef Marine Park)擱淺﹐危及世界最大礁群的一部分。環保人士呼籲加強對公園附近水面船只的管理。
正在執行運煤任務的“申能1號”於上週六離開Gladstone港口﹐但偏離航道約九英里﹐擱淺於大凱珀爾島(Great Keppel Island)以東約40英里處的一個沙洲。
蓋瑞特對澳大利亞廣播公司(Australian Broadcasting Corp.)說﹐這艘船狀況較差﹐已經受損﹐這是一個高度嚴重的事件。