Monday, July 9, 2018

Picture windows at 宝泉院 Hosen-in

Abnormal, extreme weather seems to be happening on global level. Thank you for your concern about the latest devastating torrential rain in wide areas of Japan.  Following the hot and dry rainy season,  a low pressure system and an active rain front brought historic heavy rain. Special weather warnings about the torrential rain that had never experienced before and evacuation orders were issued  many places especially northern Kyushu and some prefectures of western Japan. After the four consecutive rainy days, the sun appeared at last yesterday. The numerous scars left by the disaster are reported one after another. At least 100 are dead and about 60 are missing so far due to the deadly flooding or landslides. (At least 200 are dead. July 12)

Fortunately Nara was not seriously affected because the duration of the torrential rain was relatively short.  But the intense downpour of the night seemed like the end of the world and reminded me of Noah's ark.  Thank you again for your concern.  

Well, let's change the subject to the beneficial aspect of nature.

 I like to stroll around in the relatively cool air of the rainy season,
viewing the scenery drenched in the deep green,
like Gio-ji (Tranquility and Solitude in the Moss Garden) three years ago.
Hōsen-in stands deep inside the rural Ohara, Kyoto.
Around when you pass behind Sanzen-in (Late April at Sanzen-in Gardens), 
calming Buddhist chanting starts to fill the air.
 Do you like tasting the sound of air and water?

On reaching the Hosen-in, you're welcomed by the stone Buddhist statues.

At the Hosen-in, people look at the garden like looking at a picture. 
The garden Bankan-en 盤桓園 is framed  like a painting by the pillars of the tatami-mat room.
The red carpet is for the visitors to sit on.
How about a bowl of green tea and a sweet, which is included in the entrance fee
while looking at the garden?

This pine tree is said to be 700 years old.
So massive and powerful with almost divine aura.

Two bamboos stuck out from the floor is to hear “水琴窟 suikinkutsu”, 
buried earthen jar that makes sound when water drips into it.
Water drips from the nearby "tsukubai."
When you put your ear to the hollow bamboo utensil,  
you enjoy the tone quality of water-dripping that echoes from the underground 

One of two bamboos on the right
Other tsukubai basins  to purify yourself.

A few more of the framed nature.

Another garden, 宝楽園 Horaku-en, is about 300 years old dry landscape Zen garden
featuring a tsukubai water basin with neatly arranged stones around it,
a raked gravel mountain, 
ups and downs with stone steps, a small shrine, etc.

This is the 700-year-old pine tree seen from the outside of the Bankan-en.

Thank you for your visit as always.
I'll have a long summer break in blogging and commenting till September.  
Wish you a pleasant summer, winter, or whatever the season,
 and no disasters both natural and man-made. 

Here's M who turned 7 month today.
Her way of exploring the world;
rolling over, picking up and throwing, sucking toys, chewing on her toes, etc.
See you in September!


  1. I was very saddened by the disasters brought by the heavy rains across Japan. I could feel the pain clearly as I have passed Okayama, Osaka and the regions of Fukuoka around Kyushu Island. It is so sad to mourn the loss of the lives.

    You have just shared very beautiful photos of the Zen looking gardens which really emits the divine aura. I could sit there and meditate for hours.

    Just when I am enjoying your blog, you are taking another long break. I will miss you!

  2. Firstly let me say that M and your other grand baby are very cute. I'm sure you must enjoy spending time with them while they are still small. I seem to remember you help look after them. I love your photos as always. The gardens and architecture are not only beautiful but relaxing, much like your photos. Stay safe until we read from you again. xx

  3. I am very sorry to hear of the loss of so many lives. Sadly as you say there are unusual weather happenings all around the globe and with it comes many loss of lives. May the departed rest in peace.

  4. Goodmorning
    I was also concerned seing the news on tv about your weather. Great to know you are fine!!!
    Beautiful photo´s.
    Have a wonderful holidaytime.
    Rosehugs Marijke

  5. So sad to hear about the many lives lost due to the flooding caused by the torrential rain, glad to know that you are safe though. Your images today have such a peaceful, calming tranquility I can almost hear the wind and taste the water myself. Enjoy your summer and your beautiful grandchildren, see you in September.

  6. I was sad to hear of the tragic weather. The gardens are beautiful and it must be so peaceful and calming there. The baby is the sweetest though.

  7. I’ve been hearing about the rain and thinking about you, stardust, so thank you for letting us know how it’s been from your perspective. There have been enough extreme weather disasters and I think the entire globe is ready for brighter healthier conditions for everyone. Listening to chanting Buddhists would be calming, indeed, as is watching a child explore the world in wonder. Wishing you a safe and carefree summer with your lovely family, stardust!

  8. I'm glad you are ok, sorry for Japan and his people....
    The serenity and beauty are in all the pictures you had made...
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a lovely week !
    M is super cute !

  9. Gorgeous photos as always!!
    Aren't grandchildren bringing the most happiness ever? Yes! :-)

  10. I was saddened by the loss of life from all the rains Japan has been having. M is just adorable. The gardens you shared are so green, calming. Stunning!

  11. I love looking out of the windows and doors to see the beauty of nature. Enjoy your summer! Write me when you come back! Hugs, Diane

  12. The flooding looked terrible on the news, but I am so relieved to know that all is well with you and your lovely little family. Here it is so hot, and we are desperate for rain, and our garden lawn is yellow.
    The garden Bankan-en looks very tranquil resembling a wonderful, lush, green, oasis.
    M is so sweet - what adorable little grandchildren you have been blessed with - enjoy your break and look forward to seeing you back here again in September.
    Thank you too for all of your thoughtful comments over the past year, I always enjoy receiving them.

  13. A wonderful transparentness. And serenity.

    Pleasing look is cute.

    I wish You all the best.

  14. I am so glad that you are ok from that storm! It sounded horrible.

    Your photos are divine, quite inviting. The spacious zen quality is so appealing, I wish holding my home in that style came naturally to me. Lovely weekend to you!

  15. Dear Yoko,
    It’s a relief to know that your family is safe. I am deeply concerned about those who have suffered losses in this disaster.
    Thanks for sharing wonderful pictures! Wish you steady nice weather throughout summer.
    Your amazing pictures let me feel sounds and air of rain that I love so much, unless it gets devastating.
    Your little one is a Miracle! With best wishes from sunny Italy,

  16. Hello Yoko....beautiful photos as always! I love the interior/exterior images...timeless and peaceful. M looks so cute and full of the joys of life. I'm glad to hear you are all safe, it must have been really scary!
    Best wishes,

  17. Olá Yoko;
    I'm copying a little thing from here and there.
    I love your pictures.

  18. I so enjoy the beauty of the gardens that you share with us. It speaks of serenity and life, with its lush greenery and water features. Wonderful! It is unfortunate that the torrential rains took so many lives; sometimes we are in the way of Mother Nature, to our detriment. Enjoy your blogging break, and we'll "see" you in September.

  19. こんばんは。素敵な写真集ですね。額縁の風景がすばらしいです。9月までおやすみですか、お体に気お付けてお過ごしください。

  20. I enjoyed seeing your pictures form Hosen-in. It looks so freshly green everywhere!
    What concerns the abnormal, extreme weather all over the globe, in case of Germany it's true. We had no spring here and winter turned in April within 2 weeks over into summer with for Germany high temperatures (around 30°C). In contrary to Japan it nearly never rains. My garden looks so dry and all the perennials had nearly no time to grow.
    Send some of your Japanese rain to us!
    Wish you a nice summer time, Yoko!

  21. I hope your weather has turned back to normal.... it has been so HOT all around the northern hemisphere. I was in England and Scotland and it was HOT there too! Your photos are so beautiful. I love those Japanese gardens, so perfect. And your little sweetie granddaughter sucking on her toes, such a pretty little girl! We are so lucky, to enjoy the company of our grandchildren.

  22. weather this year is being shockingly surprising dear friend!

    i am so sorry for the loss of precious lives during massive rain!

    this is relief that your town was safe by the grace of Lord !

    like always your photos made uplifted my day with such serenity and greenery!

    thank you so much for sharing the cheerful pics of your grand daughter !
    She is little angle with absorbing smile and adorable face :)
    enjoy your break dear!

  23. So lovely to visit your blog and see your photos. I always find peace here. I wish we had some rain, it is far too dry and hot! I don't know what is going on with the weather at the moment, it is very odd. Sorry to hear the rain is causing so many problems in Japan. I love the Japanese gardens, they are perfect and the old pine tree is amazing. Thank you for sharing a lovely post and your grand daughter is such a little cutie. x

  24. Aw! Adorable little thing!

    You know, it's amazing to me how tenuous our existence on this earth is. Just a slight alteration in weather can change everything. I suppose we have to count our blessings daily and appreciate all the good moments as they come.

  25. So glad I visited today to see all that greenery and the adorable grandchild who has grown so much! A 700 year old tree and a 7 month old baby - I like thinking about those different ages and all there is for that baby to look forward to in her life. I hope you're having a good break, Yoko.

  26. We knew of the torrential rains in Japan from the news. Though we surprised that, shortly, they were interrupting his follow-up, making us misinformed and concerned, for what, in spite of the sadness that produces, I am grateful for your first lines.

    The place that you show us is in deed harmonious and invites to the serenity. Undoubtedly, I would like to take a tea there. The different tonalities of green, the different settings, this grand tree, the description of the sounds of the water in the bamboo ... they are a delight, a very pleasing experience in this fantastic photographic walk.

    And what to say of the photos of your new grandson: they are a magnificent end.


  27. Hello Yoko, reviewing your beautiful pictures.
    Good weekend.

  28. Hello Yoko. I think I missed this post because I have hardly posted anything myself for a while. Somehow it was difficult when I was laid up. (I have just posted again after a long interval.) Anyhow, I can still enjoy the post now! Everything looks so very green but I am sorry that the reason was flooding and severe weather. After our email exchange in July I continued to look at the news, but after a while news of the floods in Japan disappeared from our newsfeed here. I like the way that you have framed the views. I also love the photographs of baby M. who is at a charming age. She looks calm and from the photos she appears beautiful, even compared to most babies. I hope the other grandkids are enjoying the summer.

  29. Dear Yoko, konbanwa!

    What a beautiful and relaxing looking garden, I'd love to be there! Thank you for sharing the pictures! And your grand daughter is so cute!

    I hope you remember me - I have a blog in Germany and we commented each other's blogs some time ago. Due to the new data protection rule here in Europe I had to take care of that for my blog and shop and didn't have so much time for my blog, nor for others. I'm so sorry!

    I have some news: my family and I will travel to Japan next April - to celebrate my husband's and mine 20th wedding anniversary - and I wanted to ask if I could write you an email and ask for some suggestions (if the route I plan is "doable", what we shouldn't miss etc). If this is ok with you, I would appreciate an email and I'll write back. My address is

    Arigatou gozaimasu Yoko (I'm also learning Japanese now :-))!

    Kindest regards,


  30. Yoko, are you safe? The typhoon was so terrible, I was shocked to see videos at the news.
    My granddaughter (she is 23) will be in Japan for a month in October, is this still bad weather season?
    Wishing you good!

  31. Thank you so much for your reply Yoko.
    If to visit one or two things in Nara, what would you recommend for her?

  32. I love your posts and everything looks wonderful. I love your idea thanks for sharing.


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