I had read the book The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima, which helped me appreciate this site all the more. Still, my heart leaps at all things natural more than the man-made.
For example, this bamboo forest, along with the cedar forest in Nikko, takes my breath away.
Or, this shot of the Pacific Ocean as we drove south down the Izu Peninsula. (It’s obvious that the same ocean my friend Lesley sees in Oregon is the one I’m looking at in Japan, but that amazes me.)
I learned that there are two kinds of gardens. One is a strolling garden, usually with a water feature, through which one walks to enjoy the view. The other is a dry garden, in which one must use one’s imagination to interpret the rocks. Ryoan-ji Temple has such a garden which is famous.
This is only one end of it, as it is quite large. The garden has 15 rocks, none of which are able to be seen all at the same time. If you could see every one of the 15 rocks, you would have reached the stage of enlightenment. (I assume that is because you would have to be looking down on them from above.) I, myself, could count only 12 as I studied it from one side.
As we wandered through the Japanese gardens, my husband took many pictures as he hopes to duplicate some of their features in ours. This is a rain chain, a beautiful way to keep the rain falling from one’s roof instead of gutters.
I leave you with a smiling monk because he is so happy with his bird. He reminds me of my beloved friend, Jean, who is a bird whisperer.