Jandy and I woke up by 6:30 AM as our half-day city tour was scheduled this morning.  After our buffet breakfast at the Golden Ear Restaurant, we proceeded to the hotel lobby to await the arrival of our tourist guide, Mr. Pang of Edison Travel Service, who arrived by 7:45 AM.  We boarded a van and made short stopovers at 2 hotels to pick up Swiss couple Reto and Gabriella Conrad and Ms. Ishani Dave, a Marketing & New Product Development  Manager at Hannover Milano Fairs India Pvt. Ltd.

Tung Ho Zen Temple

The first item in the tour itinerary was a visit to the century-old Tung Ho Zen Temple, a Soto Zen monastery.  The temple was first started in 1908 and originally covered an area of 4,500 pings (14,850 sq. m.).  It then consisted of the Soto Zen Center, the Kuanyin Zen House, the Taipei Junior High School and the bell tower. The bell tower (designated a municipal historic landmark in 1997) and the Kuanyin Zen House are the only two remaining buildings in the area of the complex that has gradually shrunk to 700 pings (2,310 sq. m).

Interior of temple (in the foreground is the censer or incense urn)

The Kuanyin Zen House was renamed as Tung Ho Zen Temple in 1946, about the same time that the complex and the land it was built on were donated by the Japanese colonial owners to the temple’s former master, the Master Hsin Yuan.  Upon the death of  Hsin Yuan on March 1970, aged 89, the central government took over the complex a month later.

Interior of temple (at right, a devotee prays to the goddess Mazu)

Tung Ho Zen Temple: cor. Linsen South Rd. and Jenai Rd., Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan.