The highlights and how to get to Ryogin-an.

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Ryogin-an (龍吟庵) is a temple of the Tofuku-ji school of the Rinzai sect, located in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, and is one of a tatchu (sub-temple) of Tofuku-ji.

Tofuku-ji is the fourth grade of Kyoto Gozan (Five Great Zen Temples of Kyoto), and it has a total of 25 sub-temples.
And Ryogin-an is the first grade of the sub-temples of Tofuku-ji.
Those sub-temples have a distinctive charm that big temple does not have.

Ryogin-an is only open to the public on specific days.

The highlight of this temple is three ‘Karesansui gardens (Japanese rock gardens)‘ which were designed by Mirei SHIGEMORI (重森三玲) .
He was a leading Japanese garden designer in the Showa period.
The Japanese gardens which he designed are all recognized as “modern art”!!

If you want to see the Japanese gardens which are evaluated as a modern art, please visit this temple!!

So, I visited Ryogin-an this time.

Contents:

  1. The history of Ryogin-an
  2. The history of Tofuku-ji (the main temple of Ryogin-an)
  3. About Ryogin-an
  4. Information for visitors
  5. The highlights of Ryogin-an
  6. The videos・photos of Ryogin-an
  7. The goshuin (red seal) of Ryogin-an
  8. How to get to Ryogin-an
  9. Hotel search & reservation around Ryogin-an

1.The history of Ryogin-an

Let’s study the history of this sub-temple with me before introducing of Ryogin-an (龍吟庵).
I think that we can enjoy the sightseeing of this sub-temple more by learning the history of it. XD

Ryogin-an was founded in 1291 of the Kamakura period by Fumon MUKAN (無関普門) who was the third chief priest of Tofuku-ji.
Originally this temple was his house.

His posthumous Buddhist name is Daimyo Kokushi (大明国師) .
And he was one of the most famous Buddhist priests among Zen priests of the Rinzai sect in the Kamakura period.

This time I will write about his history.

He was born in Shinano Province and became a priest at 13 years old.
And he studied overseas (in China) for the 10 years since 1251, for Zen ‘s study.
After he came back to Japan, in 1281, he became the chief priest of Tofuku-ji.

And he also became the founder of Nanzen-ji (南禅寺) which is the Bekkaku (exceptional) of the Kyoto Gozan (Five Great Zen Temples of Kyoto) in 1291.

Why would he become the founder of Nanzen-ji from a chief priest of Tofuku-ji?
This episode is very interesting.

Actually, he was a famous ghost buster…!!

Really?

Yes!!

Originally Nanzen-ji was an imperial palace of the retired emperor Kameyama called ‘Kameyama-den’.
However, an evil spirit appeared frequently in this imperial palace from 1288 to 1293.

He was afraid very much and called (叡尊) who was the priest of Saidai-ji (Shingon Ritsu sect) for demon extermination.
(Eison was one of the famous ghost buster.)

So, Eison tried to exterminate an evil spirit by the showy Esoteric Buddhism ceremony.

But, he failed…

So, next, the retired emperor Kameyama relied on Fumon MUKAN.

Fumon tried to exterminate a demon by the steady Zen training.

And, he succeeded.

For such a reason, this imperial palace was made into a real temple by emperor Kameyama himself and it became Nanzen-ji.
And, when the foundation of this temple in 1291, he invited Fumon MUKAN as founding priest.

However, he suffered from a disease after he became the founder of Nanzen-ji.
For such a reason, he came back to Tofuku-ji and built his house in the temple precinct and spent the last days of his life at there.

This house is Ryugin-an.

2.The history of Tofuku-ji (the main temple of Ryogin-an)

If you want to know the history of Tofuku-ji, please read following article.

3.About Ryogin-an

Open:9:00 ~ 16:00
Admission fee(special admission):500 yen (High school student or older), 300 yen (Elementary / Junior high school student)
Address:15-812, Hommachi, Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 605-0981, Japan
Phone number:+81-75-561-0087
Foundation:1291
Founder:Fumon MUKAN (無関普門)
Sect:Tofuku-ji school of the Rinzai sect
Principal image:Daimyo Kokushi (大明国師)

Ryogin-an (龍吟庵) is a temple of the Tofuku-ji school of the Rinzai sect, located in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, and is one of a tatchu (sub-temple) of Tofuku-ji.
ryoginan-03

It is only open to the public on specific days (not fixed).  (usually not open to the public)
ryoginan-02

The highlight of this temple is three ‘Karesansui gardens (Japanese rock gardens)‘ which were designed by Mirei SHIGEMORI (重森三玲) .
He was a leading Japanese garden designer in the Showa period.
ryoginan-01

These sub-temples have a distinctive charm that big temple does not have.
So, when you go to Tofuku-ji, I recommend that you go to these sub-temples as well.
ryoginan-04

Next, let’s go to see the highlights of Ryugin-an!!
ryoginan-05

4.Information for visitors

・It is only open to the public on specific days (not fixed).

・Photography and video recording are prohibited inside the building of this temple. 

・Monopod/Tripods and stepladders are prohibited in this temple.

・The worship method of a Shinto shrine and a Buddhist temple, please refer to the following article.

5.The highlights of Ryogin-an

This mark ‘*‘ is a pay area.

偃月橋 (重要文化財):Engetsu-kyo bridge (Important cultural property)

This is the Engetsu-kyo bridge which was built in 1603 of the Azuchi–Momoyama period and is designated as an important cultural property.

This bridge is selected as one of the Japanese best 100 Bridge.
ryoginan-07

表門 (重要文化財):Omote-mon gate (Important cultural property)

This is the Omote-mon gate which was built in the Azuchi–Momoyama period and is designated as an important cultural property.
ryoginan-08

It is usually unopened gate.
ryoginan-09

方丈 (国宝)*:Hojo (National treasure)*

This is the Hojo which was built in 1387 of the Muromachi period and is designated as a national treasure.
ryoginan-10

This is the oldest building of Hojo architecture in Japan.
Consequently, this building was designated as a national treasure.
ryoginan-11

Letters of the hengaku (framed statement) is written by Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA (足利義満) who was the third Shogun of the Muromachi bakufu.
(I extracted this photo from a brochure.)
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無の庭(南庭)*:The garden of Vanity (South garden)*

This is the south garden, popular name is ‘Mu-no-niwa garden (The garden of Vanity).’
ryoginan-12

Because this garden expresses “Vanity (無)” that is a state of the Zen, there are no trees, plants and rocks in this garden.
ryoginan-13

龍の庭(西庭)*:The dragon garden (West garden)*

This is the west garden, popular name is ‘The dragon garden.’
Three stones in the center express the head and the angle of the dragon.
ryoginan-01

It expresses a sea of clouds with white sand and black sand well.
Other rocks express the body of the dragon which swims in a sea of clouds.
ryoginan-16

不離の庭(東庭)*:Garden of the Inseparable (East garden)*

This is the east garden, popular name is ‘Garden of the Inseparable.’
This garden is covered with red sand. It’s very rare!!
ryoginan-19

The central stone expresses Fumon MUKAN (無関普門) who was the founder of this temple, two stones on both sides express his guardian dogs, and other stones express the wolves which attacks him.
The Guardian dogs protect him without being always separated from him.
So, popular name is ‘Garden of the Inseparable.’
ryoginan-18

開山堂*:Kaisan-do*

There is the Kaisan-do in the backside of the Hojo.
The statue of Daimyo Kokushi (大明国師) is enshrined in this building.
(Photography and video recording are prohibited. I extracted this photo from a brochure.)
ryoginan-20

庫裏 (重要文化財)*:Kuri (Important cultural property)*

This is the Kuri which was built in 1603 of the Azuchi–Momoyama period and is designated as an important cultural property.
It has the role as a priest’s living quarters or the kitchen of a temple.
ryoginan-21

6.The videos・photos of Ryogin-an

■YouTube:龍吟庵の境内と庭園:Ryogin-an (sub-temple of Tofuku-ji) 

■flickr:龍吟庵:Ryogin-an(20170315)

龍吟庵:Ryogin-an(20170315)

7.The goshuin (red seal) of Ryogin-an

The goshuin of this temple is “Shobogenzo (正法眼蔵).”
It is the name of the thought book of the Zen which was written by Dogen (道元) of the Zen monk.
We can get this goshuin in the reception desk of the entrance. (300 yen)
ryoginan-06

8.How to get to Ryogin-an

How to get to Ryugin-an is as follows.
It is located in the precincts of Tofuku-ji.

The nearest station of Ryogin-an is “JR・Keihan Tofuku-ji Station”.
(We can also go by bus from ‘JR Kyoto Station’, ‘Hankyu Kawaramachi Station’, and ‘Keihan Gion-Shijo Station’.)

  Timetable and Route Search

■Route Example (From Osaka Station to JR Tofuku-ji Station)
tofukuji-30-en

■Route Example (From Kyoto Station to JR Tofuku-ji Station)
tofukuji-31-en

■When you go on foot from JR・Keihan Tofuku-ji Station

It’s about 15 minutes (700m) on foot.

■When you get on a bus from JR Kyoto Station

  Timetable and Route Search of bus

・Kyoto Sta.[D2]:208/Bound for Tofukuji Temple


Bus company:Kyoto City Bus
Routes/Destination:208/Bound for Tofukuji Temple
Boarding bus stop:Kyoto Sta.[D2]
Alighting bus stop:Tofukuji
Bus fare:230 yen
Time required:About 16 min

・Kyoto Sta.[C4]:South-5/Bound for Takeda Sta. Via Inari-taisha Shrine


Bus company:Kyoto City Bus
Routes/Destination:South-5/Bound for Takeda Sta. Via Inari-taisha Shrine
Boarding bus stop:Kyoto Sta.[C4]
Alighting bus stop:Tofukuji-michi
Bus fare:230 yen
Time required:About 11 min

■When you get on a bus from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station

  Timetable and Route Search of bus

・Shijo Kawaramachi [E]:207/Bound for Tofukuji Temple Via Kiyomizu-dera Temple


Bus company:Kyoto City Bus
Routes/Destination:207/Bound for Tofukuji Temple Via Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Boarding bus stop:Shijo Kawaramachi [E]
Alighting bus stop:Tofukuji
Bus fare:230 yen
Time required:About 20 min

■When you get on a bus from Keihan Gion-Shijo Station

  Timetable and Route Search of bus

・Shijo Keihan-mae[2]:207/Bound for Tofukuji Temple Via Kiyomizu-dera Temple


Bus company:Kyoto City Bus
Routes/Destination:207/Bound for Tofukuji Temple Via Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Boarding bus stop:Shijo Keihan-mae[2]
Alighting bus stop:Tofukuji
Bus fare:230 yen
Time required:About 18 min

■When you take a taxi

From Kyoto Station:1,330 yen ~ 1,600 yen (about 10 minutes)
From Gion-Shijo Station:1,490 yen ~ 1,840 yen (about 15 minutes)

・Let’s show a taxi driver the following phrase.
tofukuji-32

・If you want to call a taxi, let’s show the following phrase.
taxi-call

[Phone number of taxi dispatch : Around the Kyoto Station]*Japanese text only.

9.Hotel search & reservation around Ryogin-an

How did you like it?

Please try to go to this temple.

Have a nice trip! XD

<Let’s search the sightseeing information of Kansai in Japan on ‘Japan’s Travel Manual‘!!>
<This site introduces the easiest way to get Japanese (Kansai) sightseeing spots to you.>

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