Toksho-Ji, Portrait of a Kyoto Temple

Toksho-Ji is a Buddhist temple in Japan. It is located on a side street off a busy avenue in central Kyoto.

I experienced Toksho-Ji as a book-labyrinth, each room, passageway and garden being simultaneously an image from a future dream and a deja vu.



Shoji Screens Entrance to the Ceremony Room

Hallway, ground floor.

Formal dining room, ground floor.

Tea room, with scroll and flower arrangement, ground floor.

Open screens and large flower arrangement in the ceremony room.

Ceremony room with front view of altar

Right alcove of altar

Chair and mirror in the second floor hallway

Study room with a gold leaf painting of reeds and bamboo in the shadow of an alcove, second floor.

Study room with a gold leaf painting of bamboo and weeds in the shadow of an alcove, second floor.


Library Room with a Kenneth Noland monograph.

Entrance to the Kura (Safe) room with its triple layered doors.

Tea house designed by architect Terenobu Fujimori, West garden, view from 2nd Floor.

In the west garden, the architect Terunobu Fujimori created two sculptures made of earth and grass on supporting wire frame structures. The arc sculpture is an homage to the Russian constructivist art of the early XXth century and the second sculpture, floating off the ground, is an homage to the undulating shapes in Salvador Dali's paintings.

Passageway to East garden.

Stone Walkway from East garden to South garden, the circle stone was originally used to grind rice.

Cat in South garden.

Eave of temple roof and tree in East garden.

Tree and eave of the front gate

Tree and 2 windows from the 'Western room'

Window in the 'Western' room

Detail of two pages from a recently uncovered Tokusho-Ji bookkeeping ledger, the Ancient Japanese writing dates over 200 years ago. A few columns have been covered over with additional attached paper stripes of writing as if to amend the original entry.


Close-up detail of Ancient Japanese handwriting from recently uncovered bookkeeping ledgers.

The paper and ink are over 200 years.

Ceramics and flower arrangement in the ceremony room

West garden with Arc shaped sculpture and tea house seen from the sitting room.

Shyoko and Hitoshi, her husband the monk of Toksho-Ji, at home in the West garden.