Ryoanji: Temple of Dragon at Peace

Enjoy 'Kyoyochi Pond', once a mandarin duck playground

By Masayoshi Hirose    - 2 min read

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.

Ryoan-ji Temple Series
1. Ryoanji: Temple of Dragon at Peace
2. The Rock Garden of Ryoan-ji Temple

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Find out more about Ryoan-ji Temple.

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Takako Sakamoto

Takako Sakamoto @takako.sakamoto

I was born in and grew up in Tokushima prefecture, and have lived in many places since then: Nishinomiya, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Fukuoka and Fukui. I am currently living in Yokohama City. All the places I lived, all the places I visited, I have loved dearly. The historical places where people lived, loved, suffered, and fought - places where I can still hear their heartbeats - mesmerize me. I'd like to retrace the footsteps of the people who lived in Japan a long long time ago, and introduce to you what they left behind on this soil.  

Original by Masayoshi Hirose