Friday, December 6, 2013

One that got away

I happened upon Tofukuji Temple the same day I visited Fushimi-inari Taisha in late October.  Instead of going back through the gates I descended the mountain by a different route.  This brought me to Tofukuji.

It is always a little odd when you stumble on to a major temple or shrine in Kyoto.  This is pretty easy to do, by the way.  When you haven't actually planned to see something you are a bit taken aback.  Where am I?  What is this?  I had no idea Tofukuji contained one of the most highly regarded zen gardens in Japan.

It was late in the afternoon and I was rather tired from the hike up and down the mountain at Fushimi-inari, so to sit and contemplate the wonderful dry garden as the sun was beginning to set was splendid.  I've found this is actually a good time to visit most temples because you can be alone, the crowds having left much earlier.

Like so many of the really beautiful and meditative gardens I've seen, Tofukuji also needs a revisit.  Perhaps I'll even plan to see it next time.

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