Ryoan, a World Heritage Site, was a country house of the Tokudaiji Clan and converted to a Zen training temple in 1450.
The Rock Garden is its premier feature. Notably different from the many gardens of the Japan Middle Ages, there are no trees or plants – only fifteen rocks and white gravel. The walls were made of clay boiled in oil. Over the centuries, the oil seeped out and formed the peculiar designs on the walls. It is believed that the rock garden was created at the end of Muromachi period, around 1500, by a highly respected Zen monk – Tokuho Zenketsu.