KANSAI Close-up

Tour of Zen temples in Kyoto with a smartphone

 The Institute for Zen Studies (Kyoto City)—a research institute for the Rinzai and Obaku Schools of Zen Buddhism—and Japan System Techniques Co., Ltd. (Osaka City) have jointly developed an application software for smartphones named “Kyoto Zen-dera Meguri (Tour of Zen Temples in Kyoto)” that introduces the attractiveness of Zen temples in Kyoto.

 The application covers about 80 temples of the two schools, including three famous temples in Kyoto inscribed on the World Heritage List, Kinkakuji Temple, Ginkakuji Temple and Ryoanji Temple, which is well known for its stone garden, and also Kenninji Temple, which is renowned for “The Wind and Thunder Gods,” a folding screen painting by Tawaraya Sotatsu.
 The application content includes “Zen-dera Korekuto (Collection of Zen Temples),” which enables you to view high-definition photos of treasured articles housed by recommended Zen temples and obtain detailed information about the temples, including history, highlights and schedules for special exhibitions and other events prior to your visits.
 Also included are: “Zen-dera Meguri (Tour of Zen Temples),” which enables you to search for temples close to where you are and find detailed directions; “Stamp Rally,” which enables you to have fun collecting virtual stamps when you actually visit temples using GPS; and “Zen Quiz,” which enables you to enjoy learning about Zen by answering from among 100 randomly selected questions.
 “I hope that this application will help promote understanding of Zen culture and that many people, especially the young, will become more interested in Zen culture,” said Egaku Nishimura, a researcher of the Institute for Zen Studies and the chief priest of Kofukuji Temple.
 This application has been available for smartphones running the Android operating system since November this year and some of its contents have charged.
Contact : The Institute for Zen Studies
Phone or E-mail 075-811-5189
Website http://zenbunka.or.jp