Japanese gardens

I am in awe of Japanese gardens. I think I have written about these gardens previously too, but like I said, I am in ‘awe’ and so I am going to write some more….

Japanese gardens are very traditional gardens and are highly abstract and stylized. The gardens of the Emperors and nobles were designed for recreation and aesthetic pleasure, while the gardens of Buddhist temples were designed for contemplation and meditation.

We visited one of each type of garden in Tokyo ( Emperor’s garden) and Kyoto (famous zen garden).  I found the zen garden in the Ryoan-ji temple very interesting. Many different theories have been put forward about what the garden is supposed to represent, which one can easily google. But, it is an abstract composition of “natural” objects in space, a composition whose function is to incite meditation. The garden has fifteen stones of different sizes and shapes, carefully composed in five groups. The stones are surrounded by white gravel, which is carefully raked each day by the monks. The stones are placed in such a way that the entire composition cannot be seen at once . The  arrangement of the stones is so unique that when looking at the garden from one angle, only fourteen rocks are visible at one time, one rock is always hidden . It is traditionally said that only through attaining enlightenment would one be able to view the fifteenth rock.   Pretty amazing, isn’t it????

Japanese emperor’s garden

Japanese emperor’s garden

IMG_0162

Japanese roses, they look so different from the ones I have seen in India and US

Japanese roses, they look so different from the ones I have seen in India and US

Entry to the zen garden..

Entry to the zen garden..

IMG_0168

A different colored and different shaped cherry blossom!

Can't get enough of clicking these beautiful blossoms...

Can’t get enough of clicking these beautiful blossoms…

The Ryoan-ji zen garden for meditation

The Ryoan-ji zen garden for meditation

Look carefully how the gravel is raked each day by monks, its truly meditation(al) and follows a flow , a pattern!

Look carefully how the gravel is raked each day by monks, its truly meditation(al) and follows a flow , a pattern!

A model of the Ryoan-Ji garden, one can see all 15 rocks in this one. I also like the Braile writing they have on it, so people who aren't blessed with eyesight can also enjoy reading about it!

A model of the Ryoan-Ji garden, one can see all 15 rocks in this one. I also like the Braile writing they have on it, so people who aren’t blessed with eyesight can also enjoy reading about it!

 

The beautiful basin provided for ritual washing of the hands and mouth before entering the temple, simply love it!

The beautiful basin provided for ritual washing of the hands and mouth before entering the temple, simply love it!

I am sure, I want to have a Japanese style garden when we have our own house 😉