How I Love Japan (Part Five)

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.

16 thoughts on “How I Love Japan (Part Five)”

  1. Again, these are such lovely photographs, Meredith! And so nice to see your hubby’s smiling face. 🙂 Were the crowds large in most of the places you visited. The bamboo forest appears to have a lot of visitors – possibly more than we saw in the area we visited while at the Grand Canyon! But maybe it’s just the narrow pathway that makes it look so. I’ve seen those rain chains recently (perhaps in New Mexico or California) and think they are quite lovely. That big, beautiful Pacific is so lovely. The photo you shared looks very much like one I took from a favorite restaurant in Depoe Bay. Amazing is right!


  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the posts and the pics! What a wonderful journey! Did you decide by yourself on the stops or was it a tourist agency that decided on your stops and visits?


  3. We bought a rain chain and installed it in our front garden, last year. It’s a bit like that one – ie metal cups with a bit of a petal design. We love it – and, it does a great job of re-routing the rain that use to pour over the gutter right at the front door.

    We also have two dry gardens with rocks in our front garden except we are not up for raking it everyday. No patterns in our red granite gravel!! It was partly inspired by our Japanese trips, but we can’t manage their aesthetics so don’t describe it as a Japanese garden.

    Once again, your pics are great.


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