Kyoto, Japan

芳春院 (京都府京都市北区紫野)

Hoshun In is one of the sub-temples of Daitoku-Ji (大徳寺), and it was founded in 1608 by Gyokushitsu-Sohaku (玉室宗珀). The fire of 1796 destroyed the building, but it was rebuilt two years later. The image shown is Dagetsu bridge (打月橋) over the pond called, Hou-un-chi (飽雲池). You can also see the stone bridge in the foreground as well. Dagetsu (打月) means to hit moon, and there is a calligraphy of the word, Dagetsu, written by Gyokushitsu-Sohaku hung near the ceiling in the middle of the bridge.

The bridge connects the two shores, and it enables the travelers to reach the other shore safely. While one can walk on the stone bridge below to be close to the elements, Dagetsu bridge built on the higher ground gives the sheltered feeling to the one who is crossing. If one walks on the stone bridge, one can observe and examine the garden closely, and from the Dagetsu bridge, one can have the overview of the entire garden. In either case one can appreciate the beautiful garden with the pond and contemplate about the relationship of self to the universe.