If you are planning on visiting Kyoto, Japan or have an interest in Zen, traditional Japanese culture, or the gardens of Kyoto, then this book will be a nice addition to your library. Before beginning with the book review, I would like to mention that I really enjoyed visiting Kyoto. I was lucky to spend two weeks going from one temple to another and even that amount of time was not long enough. A person who is interested in Zen and Japanese gardens could spend months in Kyoto.
Zen and Kyoto is in both the Japanese and English languages. The photographs are black and white and the book is light enough to bring along while visiting the temples. Sections include: A short history of Zen, Zendera (architecture and layout of Zen temples), Gozan The Five Mountains, Other Temples, Zen Clouds (doing zazen, life in a monastery), Zen and Culture (Zen and tea, Shojin Ryori- cuisine based on Zen monastery cooking, haiku, Suibokuga and Zenga-Zen pictures, Zen brushwork, Zendo and Kyudo), Zen glossary, and Zen media.The Gozan The Five Mountains and the Other Temples sections give detailed historical information, maps, as well as photographs of the temples. Some of the temples included are: Nazen-JI, Tofuku-JI, Shokuku-JI, Tenryu-JI, Kennin-JI, Daitoku-JI, Daisen-IN, Ryoan-JI, and Shisendo. In conclusion, Zen and Kyoto is an excellent book that gives the reader in 136 pages, a lot of information, on Zen, Japanese culture, as well as the most popular temples in the city.
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