stepping stones of truth

A journey along the path of life - the stones can be rough, smooth or even wobbly!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kyoto Diary : Two

The weather is beautiful - warm air, blue skies, perfect for a day of gentle strolling around town to get our bearings; a bus and subway journey to get the hang of transportation; picnic lunch of bento in the shade of maple trees with leaves like tiny green stars against the blue sky; a small Japanese garden to get in the swing of things.... and I slept like a baby till 8am.

This is at Yuzen-in (near Chion-in). A small traditional arrangement at the beginning of a tea garden - the stone with water in is for you to clean your hands and mouth before entering (a symbolic purification, rather like wiping my camera clean yesterday I guess haha!) and a stone lantern for dark evenings.

Robert, our guide shows how he used to prune the pines here, when he was a young apprentice gardener

A tori gate, traditional for showing entrance to a sacred space

A small shrine plus garden in the corner of a modern office development

My least favourite garden - a modern one that uses the shock tactics of block planting of red and white begonias (reminds me of municpal park planting in England) and I fail to leave my perceptions at the gate. But this is my third visit, and I am slowly warming to it over the years! Well I suppose it IS a municpal park, built on an old shunting yard, it also doubles as an evacuation point for earthquakes (tho I think people would have to stand on each others shoulders to fit in!)

A small leaf is caught on the edge of a square stepping stone
(my new computer wallpaper, with convenient space at bottom left for icons!)


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