As the year concludes––
wanderer’s hat on my head
sandals on my feet
Taizo-in is is one of the oldest Rinzai Zen sub-temples in the Myoshin-ji complex, having been founded in 1395 by Hatano Shigemichi, a Daimyo of Izumo, who was converted to Zen.
The main hall (Hojo) is an Important Cultural Asset of Japan. Among its treasure is Hyonenzu, known as the oldest water-ink painting in Japan. You can see a replica of “Catching a Catfish with a Gourd” by Josetsu, who is considered one of the founders of sumi-e (black and white) painting technique in Japan. The original painting is in the Kyoto National Museum. The painting was commissioned by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu and is based on the koan (a Zen riddle) of trying to catch a slippery catfish with an open-mouthed gourd.
The famous Japanese Pond Garden, Yoko-en, on the west of the Hojo was reportedly landscaped by Kano-Motonobu (1476-1559), the most renowned painter of the time, in which rocks and bridges are apparently laid out at random yet still maintain a sense of harmony as a whole.
“Chazenichimi” – The taste of tea and Zen are one and the same.
At Taizo-in you can experience Zen meditation, tea ceremony (Chado), and calligraphy (Shodo). They will help you to understand the history and relationship between the tea ceremony and Zen, as well as provide an opportunity to actually have green tea (matcha) and learn how to drink it with a traditional Japanese sweet.
Up to 40 people can be booked at Taizo-in to enjoy tea in the garden room. You can experience Zen meditation, tea ceremony and calligraphy with a friendly and dedicated staff. Please note that the following zen experiences offered at Taizo-in are limited to groups of 10 or more by appointment only.
There are temple-stay accommodations and hotels near Taizo-in Temple if you are interested in Zen and the offerings. They recommend a stay close to them. The accommodation facilities are all located within a 5 minute walk from the temple. For details, please contact them directly. Shunko-in (Zen temple accomodation) *They speak English / Japanese (tel +81-75-462-5488), Daishin-in (Zen temple accomodation) *They speak Japansese only (tel +81-75-461-5714), Tohrin-in (Zen temple accomodation) *They speak Japansese only (tel +81-75-463-1334), Hanazono Kaikan (Hotel) (tel +81-75-461-6857).
For more details, see http://www.taizoin.com/en/zen/