Dazaifu Temples: Komyozenji Temple 光明禅寺
Komyozenji: Rinzai Zen in Japan
Komyozenji is most famous for its exquisite Zen stone gardens: a front garden and a rear garden, which some people consider the finest gardens in Japan.
History of Komyozen-ji Temple
Komyozenji was founded in 1273 during the Kamakura Period of Japanese history by Tetsugyu Enshin (1254-1326), a nobleman of the Sugiwara family who in later life became a follower of the Zen priest Enni (1202-1280), who had studied Zen in China and on his return founded the important Zen temple of Tofukuji in Kyoto.
Komyozenji consists of several tatami-floored, simple wooden buildings decorated with Buddhist statues and paintings. The stone garden in the front of the temple consists of raked gravel and fifteen stones arranged to form the kanji character for light, a reference to the Buddha's halo.
Komyozenji's rear garden incorporates plants and moss along with stones and gravel is famous for its spectacular autumn maple leaves. The gravel and moss in the larger rear garden represent water and land features.
Komyozenji Temple Access
Dazaifu-shi, Zaifu 2-16-1
Tel: 092 922 4053
Komyozenji Temple Map
Komyozenji is a few minutes walk from both Dazaifu Station and Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine.
The temple grounds are open from 8am-5pm and there is an entrance fee of 200 yen.
Images Jake Davies
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