A Strolling Garden | Japan | Living in Mexico

A Strolling Garden

The first type of traditional Japanese garden we visited was a Viewing Garden (posted on 5/14/06). A few days later, we visited the other type—a Strolling Garden, at a Buddhist Temple. The entrance to this temple featured the usual Torii Gate.

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The temple contained a shrine, which we briefly viewed.

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But the shrine was not the attraction. We spent nearly a half day looking at the garden, and could have spent even more time there.

As you might expect, a Strolling Garden also can function as a Viewing Garden.

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This window and the garden beyond were created as part of a single design, so that the esthetic pleasure of the view would be optimized. But strolling gardens include paths, so people can get out into them and explore.

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Gravel paths and stone stairs lead through maples and azaleas. Occasional benches facilitate stopping along the way, to rest or to spend time in viewing and contemplation.

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Covered walkways permit visiting even on rainy days. The construction of this one is a masterful expression of the Japanese temple builders' art.

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Nothing seems more natural than a Japanese garden. Yet nothing could be more contrived. Here a gardener is sweeping up those pesky azalea blossoms.

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She wears an old-fashioned but practical bonnet with traditional top and not-so-traditional jeans. She holds her handmade whisk broom with her Yokohama Rubber Company, Ltd. gloves. Drat! Those flowers sure are messy!

This fence design is hundreds of years old. In modern Japan, with its high wages, to make them must be very expensive.

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But it's oh so worth it.

Paths permit a close-up inspection of objects that can only be seen from a distance in a Viewing Garden.

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This incredible place has so much more to show. For additional pictures and notes, check out this flickr photoset.
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