Nanzen-ji Temple

Sanmon at Nanzenji Temple
Sanmon, the Main Entrance of Nanzen-ji Temple
Photo by: laszlo-photo, Creative Commons

The Nanzenji temple is a Zen Buddhist temple, which is regarded as one of the most famous temple in Kyoto, Japan. Among the Zen temples in the Japan, this temple occupies a unique place. This temple comprises of 12 other temples, of which few temples can be viewed. There are several gardens along the temple premises.

The Nanzen-ji has got its history since 1291. At that time, the Kameyama emperor has called a priest named Fumon to his palace to get rid of an evil spirit that was in the palace. In spite of doing chanting, the priest Fumon meditated by sitting down in the palace, forcing the evil spirit to leave from the palace. Impressed with his work on meditation, the emperor granted the lower palace for the Zen temple.

The emperor used the upper palace to reside, whereas the lower palace is made a Zen temple, run by Fumon. In September 1393, warrior monks attacked the temple causing it to burn. In 1447, the temple was again set on fire and was again restored in 1467. In the year 1597, Toyotomi Hideyoshi restored the building and a Buddha hall was gifted along with the temple. Also, the Nazenji temple has been allotted with some land.

The temple comprised of 62 other temples in the period of 1616 to 1868. At the entrance, there is a gate which is known as San-mon. In Japan, this gate stood as number three and it was constructed in 1296 and demolished in 1447. In 1616, the gate was built again and it was dedicated to the dead soldiers in 1616.

This temple attracts a lot of people and only a few temples can be visited. The Zen garden here is a great place for the public and it contains three rock tigers followed by three rock cubs. The place of interest at this place is the Tenjuan temple and people can visit this temple during spring and autumn seasons. Also, the Tenjuan gardens has a great view that contains white sand and waterfall. Though as a temple, it provides a great scenic beauty for the people.

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