Tourism Studies 20
2019-03-08 発行

History of temple gardens and garden tourism in Japan

ONO, Kenkichi Faculty of Tourism
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Keywords Alternative
garden tourism
religious tourism
pure land garden
Soseki Muso
dry landscape garden
Abstract Alternative
Temple gardens have played an important role for development of garden tourism in Japan since the 17th century. It is unique in the world. This paper first organizes historical events that represent the temple-garden relationship in Japan as follows: 1)A type of pure land garden built in the precinct of Amida-jodoin temple of Hokkeji grand temple in Nara in the 8th century was the first temple garden in Japan. 2)During the 9th-10th centuries, royal and aristocratic villas including their gardens in the suburbs of Kyoto were converted to temples. 3)Pure land garden style was established in the 11th century and many temples adopting this style had been built until the 14th century. 4)A group of monks called Ishidate-so were engaged in building gardens as specialists during the 12th-14th centuries. 5)In the 13th century, a garden located behind the temple building complex was introduced to Zen Buddhism temple. 6)A distinguished Zen monk Soseki Muso designed magnificent gardens such as those in Tenryuji temple and Saihoji temple in the 14th century. 7)Kitayama-dono villa and Higashiyama-dono villa which had beautiful gardens were built by Ashikaga shoguns, and they were soon converted to Kinkakuji temple and Ginkakuji temple respectively in the 14th -15th centuries. 8)A number of dry landscape gardens were built in Zen Buddhism temples mainly in Kyoto by Zen monks around the 16th century. 9)Many gardens were built in temples of any Buddhism sects in Kyoto, and the trend of garden-building in temples spread across the country in the Edo period (17th -19th centuries). The paper then confirms the thriving of religious tourism in the Edo period. By consulting historical materials including Miyako-meisho-zue, a general guidebook of Kyoto published in 1780, and Miyako-rinsen-meisho-zue, a garden guidebook of Kyoto published in 1799, the paper argues that temple gardens were important tourist attractions in Kyoto and one of the main destinations for religious tourists.  The paper concludes that Japanese temple gardens had been developed in the long history of temple-garden relationship and they became tourist attractions during the Edo period. These facts represent the unique feature of Japanese garden tourism.
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