Kyoto, Japan

東福寺 (京都府京都市東山区本町)

This temple was founded in 1236 by the imperial chancellor Kujō Michiie (九条道家). For the name of the temple, Kujō thought of two great temples in Nara and took a kanji character from each temple. To (東) from Todai-Ji (東大寺) and Fuku (福) from Kofuku-ji (興福寺). The Moss garden shown in this photo was designed by Shigemori Mirei (重森三玲) in 1938. The squire shaped flagstones were taken from the old gate (恩賜門) area. The special geometric checkered arrangement of these stones are in the style of Ichimatsu (市松模様) design. In this photo, one can enjoy the juxtaposition of silvery stones and the rush green of moss and the bushes and the pink colored azaleas flowers. The contrast between the green, rounded azalea bushes in the background and the rhythmically laid flagstones in the foreground is dynamic but peaceful.