When you go up to Kotoin Temple, one of the few pagodas in Daitoku-ji in Kyoto that is open to the public, and pass through the Shoin and come to the Kyakuden, you will see a garden of maple trees. It is a very simple garden planted with maple trees.
The view of the maple garden from the Kyakuden is the highlight of this temple, and there was a scarlet carpet laid out on the porch so that people could sit down and look at the garden. At the time of my visit, there was a couple sitting on the porch, soaking up the tranquility of the temple grounds.
Although the history of Kotoin Temple is long, the history of this garden is not so long. It is said that the garden was originally created in the early Edo period (1603-1868) and was rebuilt in 1971 by the abbot of the temple. Even so, the more I gaze at the simple garden with its maple trees planted against the backdrop of bamboo groves and trees, the more I feel as if there is some meaning behind it.
The couple ahead of me seemed to be listening carefully to the whispers of the maple trees, which seemed to be speaking to them. They sat down on the scarlet carpet and remained still for a while.
|Apr 2021 KYOTO PEOPLE|
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