Earth Day Inspiration: Ginkaku-ji

This special day reminded me of a garden we visited in Kyoto, Japan. It was in the Zen temple called Ginkaku-ji, the “Temple of the Silver Pavilion”. While the temple was closed for renovations during our visit, the gardens remained open to the public. It was definitely one of the most beautiful gardens we visited in Japan.



A portion of the Silver Pavilion undergoing renovations can be seen here.


A very popular part of the garden is the Sea of Silver Sand which is a large garden of white gravel. The gravel is raked into a large horizontal expanse known as the Sea of Silver Sand (Ginshadan) next to a distinctive cone-shaped mound called the Moon-Viewing Platform (Kôgetsudai). The precision and accuracy of the raking is astounding and the entire sand garden was so mesmerizing to look at!




Here are some more magnificent views of the garden.



The trees in the gardens were simply breathtaking and the rustling of the leaves were so calming.



One thing that we can’t help but notice was the different varieties of moss covering the grounds of the gardens. They made the gardens look very enchanting as you can see in some of the previous pictures.


And while one may think they just easily spread and are low maintenance, this particular groundskeeper totally changed our views on growing moss. The particular care and attention he gave these humble plants was truly amazing to watch. Before we knew it, there was a small crowd that joined us in watching him painstakingly pick out the dead moss and sweep the fallen leaves. Talk about devotion to duty!


Ah, I could only imagine having a relaxing and peaceful retreat like this in our backyard. Wishful thinking!

Happy Earth Day everyone!

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  1. uyen-chi
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    Amazingly beautiful!

    • Ernskie
      Posted April 23, 2010 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Thanks Uyen-chi. Sometimes I look at these pictures just to clear my mind.

  2. Rebecca
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Breathtaking. But don’t you sort of want to run through that sand?
    Have an amazing day today!

    • Ernskie
      Posted April 23, 2010 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Thanks Becca! The funny thing is I felt like a child when I saw that cone-shaped mound. I just wanted to run through the sand and climb on top of that mound.

      And you have a great day too missy!

  3. Posted April 27, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    wow, that place is beautiful! i hope to find myself there one day. who knows it may even come soon? ;-) amazing photos, e!

    • Ernskie
      Posted April 27, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Mark!

      So you’re going to Japan soon? After going to the Lofoten islands? Hhhmmm… spill!

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