Tōrin-in

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Tōrin-in (東林院 Tōrin-in?, East Woods Cloister) is a sub-temple of the temple complex of Myōshin-ji in Kyoto, Japan. As such, it is affiliated with the Myōshin-ji school of Rinzai Zen Buddhism.

Name[edit]

The temple is named for Donglin Temple (simplified Chinese: 东林寺; traditional Chinese: 東林寺; pinyin: Dōnglínsì) at the base of Mount Lu in China.

Due to a famous 300-year old sal tree on the grounds, it is colloquially known as the Sal Tree Temple (沙羅双樹の寺 sarasōju-no-tera?). A festival is held every June to celebrate the sal tree and its flowers.

History[edit]

The temple was originally founded in 1531 in Kamigyō-ku as a family temple for the Hosokawa clan, and named Sanyū-in (三友院?). In 1556, it passed to the Yamana clan, whose family temple it remains to this day, and was moved to its current location within Myōshin-ji and renamed to Tōrin-in.

Visiting[edit]

The temple is not generally open to walk-up visitors, but is open year-round for shukubō (monastery lodging, reservations by return postcard) and shōjin-ryōri (devotional cuisine, 3 or more people). The current head priest, NISHIKAWA Genbō (西川玄房?) is a noted researcher on devotional cuisine, frequently appearing on television and in magazine articles, and a class on devotional cuisine is held every Tuesday.

Further, the temple holds three annual events, which are open to the public (admission charged, reservations not required):

  • Celebrate the New Year with Adzuki-bean Gruel (小豆粥で初春を祝う会 azuki-gayu de shoshun wo iwau kai?) – second half of January, from January 15th, celebrating koshōgatsu (小正月?, Little New Year) (daytime, devotional cuisine meal)
  • Admiration of sal tree flowers (沙羅の花を愛でる会 sara-no-hana wo mederu kai?) – second half of June (daytime, with tea or with devotional cuisine meal)
  • Festival of fondness of lantern light (梵燈のあかりに親しむ会 Bontō-no-akari ni shitashimu kai?) – early/mid-October (10 days, from first or second Friday, 6–9 pm)

External links[edit]

Events[edit]

Coordinates: 35°01′22″N 135°43′20″E / 35.022878°N 135.722320°E / 35.022878; 135.722320