Ryoanji Temple

By the time we got off the tram, we were definitely feeling like public transportation pros!  We walked up the hill from the station to the temple gates, paid the entry fee and wandered around.  Although I enjoyed the exploration, I felt that we had seen other more impressive structures earlier in our trip.  And we were both anxious to move on, as it was getting late and the zen garden of our next stop closed at 5 pm.
We made the journey from to Ryoanbi on foot, walking on a small sidewalk alongside a busy roadway.  It didn’t feel very pilgrimage-y, but I tried not to focus on that as I plodded up the hill.  As soon as we turned up the walkway into the grounds, I felt relieved, relaxed, delighted.  There was a beautiful stone pathway, and through the greenery to our left we spotted a lake full of lily pads with temple structures on it’s edge.  The further we wandered in, the more beautiful and peaceful the scenery became.
We somehow managed to wander our way to the entrance of Ryoanbi, a famous zen rock garden.  For those of you with Apple computers, you will recognize the pictures below as one of the standard-delivered desktop images.  Of course, the desktop image was taken with a wide angle lens when the area was empty, and it was *not* empty when we arrived.  As we took off our shoes and wandered in, we found ourselves with a multitude of other visitors who were contemplating the temple structure, the rock garden, and the surrounding moss and waterways.
The crowds were was quiet and curious as we were, so we were able to enjoy these very beautiful and serene surroundings before heading home at dusk.

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