Raikyu-ji Temple Garden at Tenchu-zan Ankoku Raikyu-ji - When the governor of the area died he was succeeded to the post by his son Kobori Enshu who is considered to be one of the founders of the Japanese tea ceremony as well as his fame as a garden designer. Kobori lived at the temple, is said to have built the present zen garden. It was designed in the "Horai style" to emphasize spiritual peace and harmony in its composition and in the consciousness of the viewer using nearby Mount Atago in the background to form a shakkei "borrowed scenery". The garden is also known as Tsurukame Garden because of the two stone islands in the garden named Crane and Tortoise. Although it was completed in 1609 the abbots of the temple have maintained the garden in its original form in honour of its designer. This Japanese rock garden called karesansui, which uses no water and instead uses stones and sand to express a natural landscape, has been designated a national Place of Scenic Beauty. Raikyuji Temple Garden has even been awarded a star in the Michelin Green Guide Japan.
- ©John Lander
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