KYOTO: View of the Ryoanji Temple sand garden, the most famous in Japan. Its 15 rocks cannot be viewed simultaneously except from above. Tradition says that though there are 15 large stones altogether, only the Buddha can see all 15 at once. The pebbles are raked in patterns suggesting water rippling around "islands" of stone. "Sand" gardens are actually made of gravel, and are intended as objects of meditation. May 16, 1998