A moment of calm at a Zen temple deeply linked to the Sengoku warlords
The usually closed Daitoku-ji Oubai-in Temple will hold a special opening this spring!
Oubai-in is a sub-temple of Daitoku-ji, the main temple of the Daitoku-ji faction of the Rinzai sect of Buddhism. When Oda Nobunaga, a warlord active during the Sengoku period, visited Kyoto for the first time, he began building a small hermitage, called "Oubai-an" for his father. After the death of Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a retainer of the Nobunaga family, gradually expanded the hermitage and made it into the “Oubai-in” temple.
At this special opening, the “Jikichutei” garden created by the tea master, Sen no Rikyū, who was active at the same time as Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and the oldest existing Kuri (monk's living quarters and kitchen) of all Zen temples, will be open to the public.
Sen no Rikyū’s “Jikichutei” Garden
The Jikichutei garden was created by Sen no Rikyū, who was responsible for the establishment and spreading of tea ceremonies in Japan.
The moss covered garden may not have the most vibrant atmosphere to it, but it has elegance and charm. Rikyū taught "Spend the winter warm and the summer cool”, meaning “Cherish the feeling of the seasons”, and "Plant flowers as they are in the fields”, meaning “respect life”, as methods and preparation for tea ceremonies.
You can feel the spirit of Rikyū in this garden with its beautiful, well-maintained moss and seasonal plants.
When viewing the garden, we recommend you take your time taking it in from various places and angles. Please enjoy the way the impression of the garden changes little by little depending on where and how you view it.
Kuri (monk's living quarters and kitchen)
The Kuri is one of the buildings in a Buddhist temple and serves as the monks’ living quarters and kitchen. Also, this is the oldest standing Zen Buddhist Kuri in Japan, and is a designated important cultural site. Currently, it goes unused, but it is deeply moving to think that monks actually used and lived in this space in the past. You might be able to enjoy it even more if you think of the way they might have lived when you visit this space.