Nanzen-ji Temple Rokudo-tei GardenGardens created|Gardens managed

Rokudo-tei Garden (Created by Ueyakato Landscape, 1967)

As visitors make their way past Kohojo Garden (Nyoshin-tei), they come across Rokudo-tei (or "garden of the six realms"). Whereas Nyoshin-tei expresses the emancipated heart, Rokudo-tei is a garden that admonishes its visitors by expressing the Buddhist worldview that we are continually being reborn into six realms: heaven, the human realm, the asura realm, the animal realm, the hungry ghost realm, and hell. Looking out at the arrangement of the moss-covered stones, people are reminded of our pitiful lot as mere mortals who, misled by our own anguish, ceaselessly migrate through these six realms without ever achieving enlightenment.

When Ueyakato Landscape created this garden in 1967, its front section had a white sand bed, and on its east side there was a bamboo fence woven in a style unique to Nanzen-ji Temple (called "Nanzenji-gaki"). The bamboo fence on the garden's west side was made by cutting moso bamboo from Nanzen-in Temple's bamboo forest. This was used to create a teppo-gaki (or "rifle-barrel") fence so thick it was given the name "ohzutsu-gaki" (or "cannon fence").

In 1983, Ryoen-kaku Hall was opened on the garden's opposite side. So now instead of a fence, there’s an open corridor behind the garden, giving it a far more spacious look. We added a crepe myrtle tree at that time to complement the openness of the new background. Adapting Japanese gardens to the changes in their surrounding scenery is a key to nurturing their longevity.

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Location: Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Accessibility: open to the public
Garden construction period: in 1967

Nanzen-ji Temple Map (PDF)
Nanzen-ji Temple Flower Map (PDF)
Nanzen-ji Temple website

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