The Patient Gardener

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I haven’t written about my trip to Japan for a while but when thinking about how I would address the ‘awkward’ photo meme I found myself remembering the hikes we made in the temperate rain forest on Yakushima island. Yakushima island is 37 miles south of Kyushu, the third largest island of Japan, in the South China Sea.  The island is classed as sub-tropical and on the lower slopes and coast you… Read More

After the temples, culture and tradition of Kyoto, Naoshima was quite a surprise. Situated in the Seto Inland Sea to the south east of Kyoto, Naoshima is a small island known for its modern art museums. The  island, with a population of only around 4000,  has a Mediterranean feel about it with sandy beaches, a sunny climate and feeling more laid back than the mainland. You reach the island by ferry, the… Read More

Sometimes the memories you take away from a trip aren’t the ones you expect to  and this is true of our trip to Mt Daisen. The intention had been that we were to hike for some 3 hours up Mt Daisen to the Daisenji Temple, a Buddhist Temple, and then we were going to spend the afternoon on a bike ride on the lower slopes so we got a feel for the… Read More

My trip to Japan wasn’t all about the gardens, it was more about experiencing Japan  and trying to get a little insight into its fascinating culture.  As I have said we travelled in a sort of zig-zag south from Kyoto.  A couple of days were spent on the west coast based in a town call Hagi.  Definitely off the western tourist trail but it gave us the opportunity to visit the south-western… Read More

   

Ginkaku-ji (The Silver Pavilion) was our first Japanese garden of the tour and delivered on many of the archetypal Japanese garden elements. I’ve already shown you the Golden Pavilion, the garden of Yoshimitsu, and the Silver Pavilion is the garden of his grandson, Yoshimasa (1435-1490). Ginkaku-ji is home to some early examples of the dry landscape gardens of the late Muromachi era; these symbolise the ocean and the mountain. The ocean (above)… Read More

I was about to write about the Silver Pavilion, a natural progression after the Golden Pavilion in my last post, but I spotted these photos I took of Chrysanthemums on my first day and have ended up researching why they are grown as they are which is very different to the Western approach. Having arrived in Kyoto after goodness knows how long travelling, starving and suffering from sleep deprivation I wasn’t allowed… Read More

Kinkaku-ji, or the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, is the iconic temple of Kyoto. Dating from the late 14th century, the temple was originally the retirement villa of the shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.  After his death in 1408, in accordance with his wishes, it become a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect. The temple is built over 3 floors with each floor representing a different style of architecture. The first floor, housing statues of… Read More

Anyone who follows me on Instagram or Facebook will know I have been travelling around southern Japan for the last two and half weeks and posting regular photos.  I am now home and want to share the things I saw and experienced.  In the past I have done posts on a day to day basis from trips but this time I am planning to theme the posts more.  The trip was planned… Read More