Kennin Ji, Kyoto , The Kennin-ji Temple in Kyoto , Japan
The Kennin-ji Temple in Kyoto

The Kennin-ji Temple is the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto

© Pascal Bagot
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Kennin Ji, Kyoto Japan
By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor Profile

Discover Kennin Ji, Kyoto

Founded in 1202 by priest Yôsai, the Kennin-ji Temple is the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto. In addition to its superb wooden architecture and Zen garden, the temple holds some superb works of art that were created over the centuries by illustrious Japanese artists. The masterpiece, a painting representing Fujin & Rajin, the gods of rain and thunder, is exhibited at the entrance. It was donated by Tawaraya Sôtatsu and was painted on a gilded screen.

Kennin Ji, Kyoto

Kennin Ji, Kyoto , A temple and some dragons , Japan
A temple and some dragons

Painted on the temple's ceiling by artist Koizumi Junsahu, these two dragons commemorated the 800th anniversary of Kennin-ji.

© Pascal Bagot
Kennin Ji, Kyoto , A Zen temple and garden , Japan
A Zen temple and garden

The temple grounds hold a beautiful Zen garden that is open to everyone.

© Pascal Bagot
Kennin Ji, Kyoto , Dragons and Zen , Japan
Dragons and Zen

Dragons are often considered to be the protector gods of Zen temples.

© Pascal Bagot
Kennin Ji, Kyoto , The year of the dragon , Japan
The year of the dragon

On specific occasions, artworks that are normally stowed away are revealed to the public.

© Pascal Bagot
Kennin Ji, Kyoto , Bodhidarma and Daruma , Japan
Bodhidarma and Daruma

This painting represents Bodhidharma - Daruma in Japanese -, the founder of the Zen tradition.

© Pascal Bagot
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