Zen Gardens and Temples of Kyoto

Zen Gardens and Temples of Kyoto : A Guide to Kyoto's Most Important Sites

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This Japan travel guide presents a journey into the true heart of the Kyoto experience one which brings you deep into the world of Kyoto's ancient Zen Buddhist culture.This is the first comprehensive guide to Kyoto's most important Zen garden and temple sites. Kyoto's Zen heritage represents one of mankind's greatest achievements recognized by the large number which have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Millions of visitors travel to Kyoto yearly in search of their secrets, and here for the first time is a comprehensive overview of every major site. Over 50 Japanese temples and gardens including all World Heritage Sites are captured in sensitive photos by acclaimed Kyoto-based photographer John Einarsen. A detailed introduction to each temple by local expert John Dougill includes information about special opportunities for visitors to the temples such as early morning meditation sessions, temple food offerings and special green tea sets provided to enhance the contemplative experience along with other insider information that no other guide provides. The foreword by Takafumi Kawakami, the deputy head priest of the respected Shunkoin Temple in Kyoto, serves to place the book in the context of eastern and western Buddhist thought and practice. His widely viewed TED Talk How mindfulness can help you to live in the present has been viewed by over 100,000 people.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 144 pages
  • 180 x 254 x 17.78mm | 771.11g
  • Tuttle Publishing
  • Japan
  • English
  • full-colour photos throughout
  • 480531401X
  • 9784805314012
  • 42,879

About John Dougill

Author John Dougill is a professor at Ryukoku, Kyoto's largest Buddhist university. He has written many books about Japan including In Search of Japan's Hidden Christians, Japan's World Heritage Sites and Kyoto: A Cultural History. In addition to running the Green Shinto blog, he is the associate editor of Japanese Religions and founder of the Writers in Kyoto group. He lives in Kyoto, plays chess and loves to wander the banks of the Kamogawa River. Photographer John Einarsen is a photographer, designer, curator and founding editor of Kyoto Journal, an international magazine on Japanese and Asian culture established in 1987. His photographs have been published in Kyoto: The Forest Within the Gate and Small Buildings of Kyoto. From 2013-2015 he served as an advisor to the Japan Times and in 2013 received the Commissioner's Award of the Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency. He lives near Kyoto's Nanzenji temple. Foreword writer Rev. Takafumi Kawakami is deputy head priest of Shunkoin Temple in Kyoto where he teaches Zen meditation classes in English to 5000 foreign visitors annually including groups from Harvard, Sloan and other schools. He co-hosts study abroad programs in Kyoto for students from Bryn Mawr, the University of Oregon and others colleges, and teaches Japanese hospitality and corporate wellness seminars. He has developed a mindfulness smart phone app called Myalo and supervises JINS MEME ZEN (a mindfulness program using a wearable computing device). His is the first Buddhist temple in Japan to publicly offer same-sex wedding ceremonies and he has been a member of the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program of the U.S.-Japan Foundation, since 2008. His 2015 TED Talk How mindfulness can help you to live in the present has been viewed by over 100,000 people.show more

Review quote

"Whether for general reference or as a travel companion when visiting a garden, this beautiful book helps orient our attention to the values, symbols, and teachings of Zen. The harmony of insightful commentary and stunning photos brings to life the histories and aesthetics of Kyoto's rich Zen Buddhist heritage." --John Nelson, Professor of East Asian Religions, University of San Francisco "The exquisite photography of Einarsen evokes the beauty that is embodied within Zen's philosophy, while Dougill describes the physical constructs that house the illusive yet enduring concepts." --Judith Clancy, author of Kyoto Gardens and Kyoto City of Zen "This book will cause the reader to ponder as to whether it is a superb photography book or a book of unique writings with photographs. Indeed, it is both. John Einarsen's photos, taken over many years, amply illustrate the refined technique and designs of Zen, while John Dougill's writings, inclusive of the stories behind the temples, show them not simply as "holy cloisters" where celibate monks lived, but include the thinking that went into their building as well. This book is a must for those interested in the aesthetic as well as the human aspects of Zen in this remarkable city." --Daitsu Tom Wright, Soto Zen Buddhist priest and author of Samadhi on Zen Gardens "Zen Gardens and Temples of Kyoto is a clear and concise visual and literary guide to the ancient capital's history as a center for Zen Buddhism. Long-term Kyoto residents John Dougill and John Einarsen are knowledgeable insiders whose love for their adopted home and Zen makes Zen in Kyoto an authoritative work on both subjects." --Eric Johnston, Japan-based journalist "For anyone unacquainted with Kyoto's Zen heritage, this authoritative and superbly-illustrated book provides an unsurpassed introduction. For those already familiar with the topic, it offers many valuable reminders of the living history that makes Kyoto so uniquely inspirational." --Ken Rodgers, Kyoto Journalshow more

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