The smallest stone garden in Japan?

Just before I left Japan for New Zealand I visited one of Daitokuji’s sub-temples, Ryougen-in 龍源院. It has several stone gardens; their sandy whorls with bevelled round edges are unusual. The most mysterious garden Toutekiko 東滴壺 is nestled in among the wooden planks of the interior, in such a confined space that it is claimed to be the smallest karesansui garden in Japan.

the sun’s shadow-caster

secreted in its sandy nook —

eternity must wait

3 Responses to “The smallest stone garden in Japan?”

  1. I too have found the sandy gardens of Ryougenin to be wondrous. Did you take the two pictures from a bridge – to left and to right? I presume you weren’t standing on the sand! The ‘shadow-caster’ is the tall rock at bottom left? Fortunately the poem is nearer to thought-provoking than mind-boggling. Exactly right for haiku.

  2. Richard Donovan Says:

    It does appear in the first picture that there is a bridge at the far end, but in fact there’s not. It’s just a low wall. The garden is nestled below the usual smooth boards worn by millions of visiting bestockinged feet. I took the photos from the boards at both ends of the garden. (Thanks again for providing me with the name for it.)

    You’re right about the shadow-caster. I love how it looms against the bright shaft of sunlight behind it in the first photo.

  3. These images fill me with envy– but even more, delight! I’ll have to go see the “shadow-caster” for myself someday– and those two companions– co-conspirators? –in the other sand whorl.

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