Kennin-ji temple

This was our last day in Kyoto. In the afternoon, we were going to Hiroshima by train.

So far, we’d seen a “wet” Zen garden at Nanzen-ji but not the dry variety with raked stones. After some research, we found one and decided we could squeeze in a visit and catch our train. The previous day we’d gone to Kyoto station to make sure we knew where to get the train from. The stations are huge here and you could spend 30 minutes looking for your platform.

Unlike Nanzen-ji, Kennin-ji temple is considered one of the five most important Zen temples in Kyoto. It is also said to be the oldest. The monk credited with introducing Zen to Japan was the temple’s first abbot.

Like Nanzen-ji and Chion-ji, Kennin-ji, has had its fair share of fires. It also suffered damage during the Onin War and other periods.

The ceiling of one the buildings had a painting of two dragons. It was installed in 2002 to mark the 800-year anniversary of the temple. Using ink on traditional Japanese paper, the artist, Koizumi Junsaku, took two years to complete the painting.

The grounds and temple are beautiful — a perfect place for contemplation.

As we were heading for the train station, we saw a sign saying, “vegan tempura”. There was a queue outside for the (small) restaurant. We didn’t have time to queue. I asked someone if the queue was to eat in or takeaway. It was to eat in. I went into the restaurant and asked how long it would take to make the tempura. We had enough time. The food came in 15 minutes. We were close to the river and went there and ate. The food was fresh and tasty.

It was a good last day in Kyoto. And the sun had come out.

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