April 30th, 2013

drinking bird

One more discovery in Kyoto

After I visited the Sento Palace Garden, I went on to see Kennin-ji, an old Zen temple very close to the Gion area. It was founded in 1202 and is supposed to be the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto. The earliest buildings were destroyed by fire, and rebuilt several times. The present ones date from the end of the 16th century, with the Dharma Hall being of 1765. The tea house was built in 1587 to designs by the famous tea master Sen no Rikyu.

It is a lovely ensemble of small buildings joined by galleries, giving view to several small gardens. The buildings are decorated by beautiful painted screens. There is also a recent [2002] dramatic painting of two dragons, pen and ink on traditional paper, by Junsaku Koizumi.

large room, Kenninji
This is a large room you see at the beginning of the visit, with interesting painted screens.
galleries, Kenninji
Approaching another building.
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small courtyard, Kenninji
A small courtyard.

Here are several of the pen and ink drawings on the screens.
screen 1
screen 2
screen 3
And then this irresistible Daruma picture!
Here is a classic Zen garden:
Kennin-ji zen garden
The border of a gallery:
After another courtyard,
another courtyard
I reached the hall with that dramatic ceiling picture of the twin dragons.

I found Kennin-ji particularly attractive and interesting, tucked away in the HIgashiyama area, close to Gion. There are relatively few visitors.

I went next to Miyajima, a return trip to a very famous place.