The Garden Guide

Ryoan-ji Zen Garden

Ryoan-ji is the most famous and most austere Zen Buddhist garden. A rectangular space is bounded on two sides by a verandah and on the other two sides by walls. Within, the space is covered by raked quartz. Raking produces a pattern around 15 rocks in 5 groups in a significant mathematical relationship They are of 5, 2, 3, 2 and 3 rocks, which link the observer to an abstract conception of nature.

See blog post discussion on whether Ryoanji is correctly classified as a 'Zen garden'.

Goryonoshitacho, Ryoanji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan

Visit the Ryoan-ji Zen Garden website

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