Unryu-in is a temple where looking into the garden you can feel like you were one step closer to englightenment
Unryu-in Temple (Unryuin) is famous for the great view you get through their windows into their garden. You can truly experience the beauty of Japanese gardens at this temple. The temple was founded in 1372 on the orders of the emperor Go-Kogon. Unryu-in Temple is a sub-temple of Sennyu-ji Temple but because of the temple’s connections with the imperial family, its rank was considered to be on the same level as that of the head temple. This temple is also famous as the place with the oldest building for sutra copying in Japan. You can actually try your hand at sutra copying too for a little extra fee. Even if you are not interested in sutra copying, consider getting the ticket that comes with a cup of matcha tea, as having matcha tea in a temple surrounded by a Japanese garden is something everyone should experience in Kyoto at least once in their lives.
Lotus room, Renge no Ma
You can have a seat on a Japanese cushion on the left side of this room called the Lotus room, in Japanese “Renge no Ma.” There are four window-holes on the shoji doors from where you can see into the garden. The view from each window differs, each showing you only a small portion of the garden. It is said that the best spot to view the garden from inside was discovered only recently.
This gate can be used by the Japanese Imperial family. A tree on the left side of the photo was planted for the prince Hisahito of Akishino, 3rd in line to become the emperor of Japan.
Room of enlightenment, Satori no Ma
The square window before the round one is said to symbolize the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, in short, that life is suffering and that this suffering can be overcome through the Eightfold path. The round window is said to resemble the world of Zen, the world of enlightenment. Looking out through this window you can almost feel like enlightenment could be attainable.
Dragon on a folding screen
A dragon painted in Indian ink on a folding screen is exhibited at the temple. This dragon is really eye-catching and there is an interesting story about it: it is said that the snout of the dragon looks longer from the left side than it does on the right side.
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Unryu-in / 雲龍院
|Category||Temples & Shrines, Japanese Gardens|
|Address||36, Sennyuji Yamanochicho, Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 605-0977|
|Directions||10-minute walk from city bus Sennyuji-michi stop getting off.|
|Open Hours||9am - 4:30pm (5pm close)|
・Entrance fee: ￥400 ・Entrance fee with Matcha: ￥900 ・Entrance fee with Matcha and a sutra copying lesson: ￥1.500
|Credit cards||Not accepted|
English brochures are available at the entrance.
|Lanuages spoken||Japanese only|