Kyoto is bursting with gardens, some of them being Zen rock gardens. I was quite thrilled to go to Ryoan-ji (picture on the right), but unfortunately the meditation mood was dampened by giggling schoolchildren taking selfies in front of the garden and noisy tourists berating themselves: “Don’t look at your feet, look at the rocks!”
However, 40 minutes away from Ryoan-ji, the Daisen-In (drawing on the left) is everything a rock garden should be. Quite derserted, thus much less stressful, some explanations were provided to fully enjoy the garden and temple buildings. As pictures and drawings are not allowed during the visit, I drew the Ocean of Eternity on the plane. It is also a significant place for Japanese tea ceremony development. While visiting the Daitoku-ji, to which Daisen-In belongs, I strongly recommend eating Shojin Ryori at Izusen restaurant!
Japanese Shinto shrines are often breathtakingly beautiful. I will never forget visiting Fushimi Inari Taisha, 10 minutes away from Kyoto, at dusk then under moonlight… There sure are more cats than foxes – even if Inari is the Shinto fox kami – but Kitsune and this visit inspired a Haiku (French one here):
Between red torii,
A white fox is slipping in.
Lanterns are glowing!
Les sanctuaires Shinto japonais sont souvent des endroits magnifiques. Visiter Fushimi Inari Taisha, à dix minutes en train au Sud de Kyoto, à la tombée du jour, est une expérience inoubliable. Il y a certes plus de chats que de renards – même si Inari est le kami renard Shinto – mais cette visite et les Kitsune ont inspiré un Haïku (en anglais ici):
Sous les torii rouges,
Un renard blanc se faufile.
Les lanternes luisent !