Ryoan-ji Zen garden

You’ll witness the Japanese penchant for asymmetry and aesthetic simplicity, and perhaps better grasp the concept of wabi sabi at Ryoan-ji, though don’t try to put it in words –you’re best to let the feeling seep through you, as the Japanese do, rather than pinpoint an exact definition. Ryoan-ji is the world’s earliest, and perhaps most powerful, Zen rock garden, though it might not have the contemplative air you seek when you’re craning to see over masses of children. Getting to Ryoan-ji outside school holidays or early in the morning is advised to best experience the grounds of this temple and the famously austere enclosure of rock and raked gravel. Another, often quieter, Zen rock garden is at Daitokuji Temple, and is equally worthy of contemplation.

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