Ryoan-ji Temple is internationally renowned for its 'Rock Garden (Karesansui Garden)', and it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.
I visited this temple in June this year, when the fresh green was beautiful and the temple was less crowded.
Just after passing through the main gate, you'll see the large pond, 'Kyoyochi Pond', spreading in front of you. This pond used to be called 'Oshidori (Mandarin Duck) Pond', because mandarin ducks used to play around in this pond.
They say that a long time ago Kyoyochi Pond used to be more famous than the Rock Garden. In my opinion this pond looks more natural than the artificial Rock Garden, but right now the Rock Garden is incomparably famous world-wide! Sadly, there are no more mandarin ducks playing around in this pond. But instead, I found some cormorants leisurely resting here.
Find out more about Ryoan-ji Temple.