龍源院Ryogen-in is one of the oldest sub-temples of 大徳寺Daitoku-ji Temple founded in 1502. I checked it out when visiting Daitoku-ji Temple during Golden Week 2009.
There are five dry landscape gardens surrounding the former abbot’s residence.
滹沱庭Koda-tei, modelled after a river in China
The moss patch represents a turtle and the smaller standing stones cranes while the two large standing stones represent Mt. Horai, the mythical home of Taoist immortals.
The most famous one for being the oldest garden at Daitoku-ji Temple is 龍吟庭Ryougin-tei which can be seen from the veranda of the abbot’s home. The moss is a boundless sea with the large standing stone being the center of the universe.
the 坪庭tsuboniwa (small inner garden), 東滴壺Toutekiko: “a heavier stone creates bigger ripples in water”
It was peaceful sitting and gazing out at the gardens whether there were people around or I was alone with my friend; the mild sunny weather made the experience even more enjoyable. I still look back to this visit as one of the best times that I’ve had exploring Kyoto.