Wednesday, November 25, 2015

吉城園 Yoshiki-en Garden

"Keyaki" (Japanese tree of the genus Zelkova.) leaves on the moss
Yoshiki-en Garden is one of the two Japanese gardens in Nara City along with Isui-en Garden. Both gardens stand side by side with the Yoshiki River in between.  An old picture inherited by the nearby Kofukuji Temple shows that Manishuin, the branch temple, was located at the place of the present Yoshikien Garden.  After Meiji Restoration (1868), it became a privately owned site.  After the construction of the present buildings and garden in 1919, ownership was transferred to Nara Prefecture.  Since April 1st, 1989, the garden consisting of  Pond Garden, Moss Garden, and a garden for tea ceremony flowers, has been opened to the public.  As to the inside of the house, however, it is not open to the public.  The house was introduced in the TV program by BS Asahi  百年名家 which features distinguished traditional antique houses of one hundred years or more.

First of all, this is a Stroll-around-the-pond Garden. 
The slopes and curves since the Edo Period (1603-1867) is incorporated skillfully 
into the garden construction.  

Bronze lantern on the eave of the entrance to the tea-house
Gradually you are moving into the Moss Garden.

Going up the steps to the higher ground, ....

.... here you are at the Moss Garden. The whole area is covered with hair moss (Polytrichum).  With the single-story thatch roof tea-house, the garden creates a quiet, secluded atmosphere.  The tea-house becomes one with nature especially when all the sliding doors are open.  You can see the opposite side of the garden through the open windows.

Different perspective from the first photo so that you can see the curving path

Japanese maple leaves

The top ground is Tea Ceremony Flower Garden where seasonal flowers suitable for tea ceremony bloom from season to season.  The atmosphere is very different from that of the former two gardens.  The yellow flowers are wild, untamed undergrowth.

How did you like the gardens?

No entrance fee for foreign tourists when you show a passport.

Linked to Through my Lens.
Thank you, Mersad, for hosting.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Kindergarten Art Exhibition

Last Sunday, I went to the Art Exhibition of F’s kindergarten which is held every November.  
The classroom of 4-year-olds was transformed into the world of Alice in Wonderland
with the display of individual works of each child and their joint-work.

(The big and tall Alice, who is made of lots of milk cartons, is a joint-work.)

Lovely, lovely, many White Rabbits with a watch!

Alice follows the rabbit down the hole. 

F explained this is a lounging Cheshire Cat with grins and how she made him.  
His body is a pet-bottle wrapped with a piece of cloth;
his head and tail are crumpled newspaper ball wrapped with a piece of cloth. 
Parts of face and patterns on the body were added later.

A crayon-painted Caterpillar is pasted on the drawing paper so that it looks solid.

At the March Hare's house, Alice is treated to a Mad Tea Party.
She is drinking tea with the teacup made by F.
The tea is made of the mixture of glue and brown paint.

Queens of Hearts and Kings of Hearts line up.


Floating Card Soldiers are made of a small sweets box with collage of pieces of paper on it.

The Art Exhibition featured Disney animation films this year.
Other than Alice in Wonderland,
there were Winnie the Pooh, Finding Nemo, Lilo and Stitch by 3-year-olds classes,
Toy Story and Monsters Ink by 4-year-olds classes,
and Little Mermaid and Peter Pan by 5-year-olds classes.  

Toy Story

Finding Nemo

Being awed and praising the artworks of the kindergartners and being thankful to their teachers' guidance
was a nice way to spend a rainy Sunday.

On a fine day some days before that, I walked around Nara Park,
admiring the Chinese tallow trees at their best.

Get under the trees and look up!
Do you feel like that you're falling into the sea or soaring into the sky
through the kaleidoscope of leaf colors?

Nice November days to you all!

Visit Our World Tuesday to learn more about our world.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween-colored Saho River

The Saho River is lined up with numerous cherry trees.
I showed how the river is fascinating in early April in the post 
Princess Saho dyes Nara City pink.

How is it in autumn?

The autumn leaves of cherry tree are not so popular as those of Japanese maple, 
but I think the area along the river looks fabulous in autumn, too. 

Autumn foliage of cherry is thought to be sober compared to those of Japanese maple. 
When we look up at tree leaves against the sun,
Japanese maple leaves look glowing ethereal red because the leaves are thin, 
while cherry tree leaves look faded color due to the thick leave. 
Cherry leave’s color is different between front and back; 
the front is bright yellow, orange, or red, while back is sober yellow. 
To taste the real beauty of cherry leaves, 
it might be better to see the fresh fallen leaves on the ground.

It's comfortable to walk under the glinting Halloween-colored leaves 
hearing the crunching sound under feet.

Halloween, originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, seems to have evolved differently from country to country.  In Japan, Halloween has become popular as a secular seasonal event of October in the last decade and scary cosplay festival has gotten popular these years.  (This is Halloween, Japan Style)  As the night gets longer and colder, it’s not bad to get together to have fun if only good manners are kept. There is lots of commercialism like Halloween-related sales including sweets and snacks in Halloween packaging.  No trick-or-treating for children.  F and Y are pleased with sweet treats at home.

Happy Halloween to you!
Hello Kitty and My Melody
Photo by my son