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Kyoto Zen Buddhist Temples

Visiting Shinto and Buddhist Temples

10/26/2023By Dallas SmithComments: 0  Replies: 0 : Seven Japanese Cities Visited on the Viking Cruise
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Zen Buddhism came from India to Japan over a thousand years ago.  Because Buddhism does not recognize deities, but rather is focused on individuals pursuing the “path to enlightenment,” there is no direct conflict with Shintoism. 

We visited a complex of old buildings founded and financed by the Shogun in the 1300’s.  Shoguns were the rich powerful leaders supported by their armies of Samurai soldiers.  The Buddhist complex we visited also contained a traditional Zen garden.  Zen gardens combine water, boulders, and trees in a non-symmetrical balance conducive to meditation.  The interplay of light, reflections, and different vegetation colors gives Zen gardens their special charm.  The lake and boulders in the Zen garden date from the 1300’s.  Adjoining the garden was a bamboo forest.  This was the first time I ever saw a forest consisting exclusively of mature bamboo trees.


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