A famous Japanese rock garden that symbolizes the Chinese mountain of immortals
The usually closed Daitoku-ji Kohrin-in temple will hold a special opening event this autumn!
Kohrin-in is a sub-temple of Daitoku-ji, the main temple of the Daitoku-ji faction of the Rinzai sect of Buddhism.
A warlord named Hatakeyama Yoshifusa founded this temple and its name comes from his legal name. It fell to ruin as the Hatakeyama family clan weakened. However, the accomplished warlord of the Sengoku period, Maeda Toshiie carried out repairs on the roof and it became a temple to carry out Buddhist memorial services for the Maeda clan in addition to the Hatakeyama clan.
At this special opening event, the designated cultural assets of the Omotemon front gate and the Hondo main hall will be open to the public. In addition, the Hojo garden which was restored from the original founding garden by Nakane Kinsaku, a landscaper who was active domestically and overseas during the Showa period, will also be opened.
Hondo Main Hall
The Hondo main hall, which is also designated as an important cultural asset, has been constructed with a hip-and-gabled roof commonly found in traditional Japanese architecture such as castles, shrines, and temples. It skilfully expresses the features of the Muromachi period architectural style.
The Hiwadabuki roof made from the bark of cypress trees is lower than that of modern temples, giving the impression of stability as well as a grace found nowhere else.
Items deeply related to the Hatakeyama and Maeda clans, as well as beautiful Fusama sliding doors painted by Suiboku-ga ink painter Muraishi Beisai are stored within the hall.
This Hojo garden, which was lost when the temple fell to ruin in the Sengoku period, was restored by the landscaper Nakane Kinsaku when the Hojo abbot’s quarters were demolished for repair.
With the arrangement of the pine trees and stone structures in the white sand, the garden symbolizes the Chinese divine world of immortal hermits on Mt. Penglai.
A tree named Baidaraju is planted in the west side of the garden. In Sanskrit, Baidaraju means tree leaves, and as its leaves were used to transcribe sutras in ancient India, they appear to be cherished by temples.
In May, as the Satsuki azaleas begin to bloom, you can enjoy a different atmosphere in the garden.