Kyoto is the soul of Japan, where arts, crafts, religious and secular traditions have been honed and perfected through centuries of practice, devotion and mutual influence. Many districts, each with their own particular origins and activities, can boast to represent the heart of the old Kyoto, and JIJUDEN is located in one of them, in the immediate vicinity of three World heritage sites. The world famous Golden Pavilion is a three minute walk away from our gates, and if you come down from there along the Kinukakenomichi street, you can visit the Zen temple of Ryōan-ji with its famed rock garden and the Shingon, or esoteric Buddhist, temple of Ninna-ji. If you like walking, you can carry on all the way to Arashiyama, and enjoy all the temples, shrines and nature on the itinerary.
Even if you are not interested in Zen, the temple complexes of Daitoku-ji and Myōshin-ji are definitely worth a visit. With their many sub-temples and gardens, each with their own architectural style and history, they are places where you can learn, enjoy yourself and even experience a session of zazen meditation if you wish. Both are the head temples of their respective Rinzai brand of zen, and their branch temples number the ten of thousands across the country.
Cherry blossoms in spring, matured fruits in summer, flamboyant leaves in autumn, snow covered landscapes in winter. Running through the architecture, both in its concept and in its realization, is the philosophy that everything changes, nothing ever lasts and that permanence is an illusion. It is this reality that buildings in temples and shrines try to serve, respect and constantly convey. Thus, the main actor in those places is not the human mind that has thought of creation, but rather it is the lesson of Creation as impermanence that can be viewed in a falling leave, in a decaying branch, in a drop of water or in a new bud in spring.