A popular tourist spot to feel Japan Vol.38 The garden to enjoy the water without water Ryouan-ji Temple in Kyoto “Karesansui (traditional Japanese rock garden)”
June in Japan is the rainy season, so that it has been called “Minazuki”, means “month of water”.
During the rainy season in Japan, there are a lot of views that glow with water, like bloomed hydrangeas in the rain and the Japanese garden overlooking the pond, and they heal the viewer’s mind.
In contrast to it, there is another gardening style called Karesansui, that creates nature views like rivers and mountains by stones and sands, instead of water.
Most Karesansui expresses the surface of water and water stream by white sands and small stones, so that it’s called “the garden to enjoy the water without water”.
There is Karesansui in Ryouan-ji Temple in Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City, that is designated as the world heritage;
white sands are set up 25 meters wide, and 15 stones are set in the area of 10 meters depth.
People can’t see at least one stone, even if you see the garden from any position.
The number of 15 means “perfect” in the East.
Because of this, it expresses that “only 14 stones can be seen = imperfect”.
There is a message that “remind you, are imperfect, and appreciate for yourself”.
In Ryouan-ji Temple, people see Karesansui from the alcove in the main hall, called Houjou.
Most visitors sit on the alcove to see Karesansui, but “standing to see” is correct in the act.
Because there is a position to see 15 stones only if you stand to see them.
It’s interesting that only 1 position can be perfect from imperfect.
The inside of Houjou is the large tatami floored Japanese room.
There is a marvelous Fusumae (painting on a fusuma) that was drawn for 5 years by Satsuma Kakuou, who was
an artist being active from Taisho to Showa Period.
It’s possible to take photos of Fusumae.
It’s glad to record the tasteful Japanese space.
Seeing “the garden to enjoy the water without water” during the rainy season is also the tasteful experience of “month of water”.