Raised Floor in Shinden

Raised Floor in ShindenAs you look into each room in Shinden, you’ll notice the different paintings that depict one of the four seasons, and you’ll notice that the last room is more embellished than the others. The last room, the “Upper Room” (上の間 jō no ma), was the abbot’s chamber and is splendidly decorated from floor to ceiling.

What you may not notice is that the floor of the room is actually raised up considerably from the level of the other rooms.  Recently, Shinden was open for the ikebana event and the sliding doors were opened, revealing the step up into the last room more than usual.

While you might not be able to observe the difference as easily as you can in this picture, it is also possible to see the difference in height from outside of the rooms. Usually visitors are too busy appreciating the paintings and other embellishments in the room to notice it initially, but the raised floor is one more detail that makes the Upper Room a more formal space than the others.

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