Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Flower Temple

In the wee hour of this morning, I was woken by the sound of heavy rain, followed by thunder with a vivid flash of lightning coming through the opening of the curtains. However, by the time I got up, it had already let up and became fine day. It seemed a lull in the rain.

Well, Japanese blog friends of mine posted their pictures of hydrangeas, so I’d like to show mine. Mimurotoji Temple in Kyoto is famous as one of the 33 Holly Places of the western part of Japan. Believed to have been built in 8th century, since then it had burned down twice and the current one was rebuilt in 1805.


Hondo, main hall. This architectural style, irimoya, a hip and gable roof, was introduced from China at the same time as Buddhism (mid-6th century).

Muromachi-period (1333—1568) karesansui; waterless rock and sand garden.

It’s kaiyu-style garden ;“many-pleasure”-style manicured garden for strolling.

It is also well known as a flower temple full of colorful azaleas, rhododendrons, lotus blossoms and now hydrangeas, descending down the hillside to the Uji river.

The stone monument in the temple ground, dedicated to the tragic lady Ukifune, a fictional character in the Uji chapters, the Tale of Genji written by Murasaki Shikibu in early 11th century.  She is said to be buried here. In the story, the beautiful Ukifune is loved by two noblemen but finds herself wavering between them . Eventually she becomes so distracted that she throws herself into the Uji river. What has become of her? If you are interested, why don't you try reading, though the story is extremely long.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

White Love in the Forest

It seems a break in rainy season now. While the rain is away…I've been  to Mt. Odaigahara in the hope that pristine white flowers would see me in full bloom.

It was overcast and  the views of mountain ranges seen from Mt.Hidegatake(1694m) was obscure. Far over there I should’ve seen open sea of Kumano-nada. This place has an average of outstanding annual rainfall of 4,800mm and fogs often lie around.

There is a trail both sides of which are fully lined with Shiroyashio or also called Goyotsutsuji (Rhododendron quinquefolium), a kind of azalea , but unfortunately they were not blooming yet. What a discouragement!

I thought I had to forget about it today, and then as walking on, I found them in full bloom! They were not showy, not so strong self-assertive but lovely with full of pristine whiteness and blended into lush green, adding all the more refreshing air in the woods. The language of the flower is “delight of love”. I think, however, “first love” fits the flower much better.

       Shiroyashio is an emblem of Aiko,Princess Toshi-no-miya, a daughter of Crown Prince Naruhito. 

                            The weather in the mountain is changeable. The mist is
                            coming from nowhere  and covers everything softly and

Trees have been watching and hearing what has been happening with their leaves, their branches, their roots, with their whole body.(related  news is here)   When I am sad, they console me. When I am happy, they are happy for me. That’s why I sometimes want to come and talk to them.

Image is taken from web site.

Red line shows a popular trekking course. It takes about three and a half hours.

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