Monday, July 5, 2021

Soaking in the greenery at Sagano

Japan is in the middle of a long rainy season which usually lasts throughout June to July.
This year , it started much earlier in mid-May, so we have a longer rainy season.
I'm so thankful for being able to enjoy this relatively cool weather prior to the sizzling,
 scorching high summer.
Those who are suffering in disasters by torrential rainfall are in my prayers and thoughts.

Moss Garden of Gio-ji, 2015

It was  one  day in June six years ago when I visited Gio-ji Temple deep in Sagano after an overnight rainfall.
The small temple could be the greenest place on this planet with thick moss, green maples, 
 and other surrounding trees.
Not only the temple but also the whole course to the temple is beautiful and soothing.

Sagano in Arashiyama district is a hilly area of western Kyoto. 
There are many historic sites with great scenery in rich nature.
To enter Sagano, you walk on Togetsu-kyo Bridge which stretches across the Katsura River.
It was first built in the Heian period (794-1191).
After crossing the bridge, you're welcomed by the charming stone Buddhist statues.

Sagano Bamboo Forest is one of the most popular tourist destinations.
It is on the list of “100 soundscapes of Japan” for its distinct rustling sounds of the bamboo leaves.
 Sunlight filters through the densely packed grove. 

More details about bamboo, The beauty and strength of bamboo (2011)

A trail cuts through in the middle of the bamboos.

Walking through the area, in the bamboo forest, under the green tunnel, by the small brook 
or a cozy tearoom when air feels heavy with lots of moisture,
 you'd feel like soaking in dripping essence of the greenery.

After passing by many famous temples, I reached the Gio-ji  Temple.
Tranquility and solitude in the moss garden (2015) is my post  about the temple.
If Gio-ji is new to you, I really would like you to have a look at it to share how I felt like 
that I was at the bottom of the sea where little light and sound reach. 

(Similar but not the same  photos with those  in the 2015 post.)

Sagano has been relaxation spot for centuries and had lots of tourism in decades.
Ironically it seems to have restored the stillness due to the pandemic.

With 18 days left to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, all the preparations are underway, while Delta variant will peak in mid-to-late July. "Is the Olympics worth all the risks?" has been always in my mind.  The IOC always showed the attitude "go ahead" even under the State of Emergency because Japan's level is just "ripples". Only the IOC can cancel the events by the contract.

The president of the JOC (Japanese Olympic Committee) has been standing strong to realize safe Olympics taking over the role in February this year. Though I've had mixed emotions like many other people, I wish successful events through each one's share of cooperation and patience. The preparation works must have been daunting in the constant changing COVID situation and the corresponding public opinions. We must not let our guard down carelessly.

I wish transparency and genuine spirit of the Olympics are restored in this extraordinary Games.
I root for all the athletes from the world.

I'm having summer break as usual. See you in September.

Linked to Mosaic Monday


  1. Lasy bambusowe są obłędne w swojej prostocie, tak jak wnętrza japońskie.
    Moja córka mówi, że Japończycy nie chcą olimpiady. Nauczyciele są szczepieni dopiero teraz, co dla mnie jest dużym zaskoczeniem, bo u nas już w lutym, choć wówczas wydawało mi się, że to i tak za późno.

  2. Such a beautiful place. I love the moss gardens, they are pretty. Bamboo trees are so fascinating! Enjoy your summer break! :)

  3. Belleza de lugar y naturaleza que da gusto pasear. Entrar ahí tiene que ser una maravilla.Gracias Yoko
    Buena pregunta nos haces. En mi opinión no se tendrían que celebrar. Solo deseo que todo salga bien y no vuelvan más contagios.
    Buenas vacaciones.Cuídate.
    Un abrazo.

  4. What tall magnificent bamboo! It would be wonderful to walk along that slender path and to step on the mossy green carpet I see in some photos. Currently, rain is lacking in my world but not in your world where it seems too plentiful. I saw the tragic mudslide in the news. Moderation in all weather is the key to a safer life. I also wish the Olympians well and sympathize with the difficult decisions leaders had to make. Hopefully, people will look back on positive outcomes. Wishing you and your family a carefree summer, stardust! See you in September. :)

  5. We're having our "rainy season" at the moment - it's called the Wimbledon Tennis Championships! I've always liked the idea of a moss garden and even tried to encourage some to grow (with mixed results) in a wet corner of my mother's garden, though I've never seen a moss garden as beautiful as the one in your photos.

  6. I find the moss gardens fascinating, I do love this kind of thing and it's not something you see much of in my country. I hope your games can go ahead safely - I think all countries have to learn to live with this Pandemic but also to share - our resources (vaccine), knowledge, to be less competitive (outside of sport lol) and to care as we can' be an island -we have to help and share our knowledge to beat this virus.

  7. 苔の絨毯。どっぷりと雨水を含んでいるように見えます。勢いよく成長する竹も早い時の流れを感じてしまう。
    若い時とは又違う感情が沸いて来そう。リンクされた2011年のポストのコメント欄は懐かしいブログ仲間が沢山いますね。ちょっと驚きでした。私の英語もそんなにメチャクチャじゃなかった。10年たっても全く進歩してないどころか後退してるわ。Enjoy your summer break.

  8. Beautiful pictures and place !
    Rain is a bless but can be dangerous...
    Have a lovely day !

  9. A beautiful post, Yoko, and this is a remarkable place.Somehow the beauties of moss are never appreciated in Western gardens. I would really love to see this remarkable moss garden, which provides the kind of lush greenness beneath the trees which a normal grass lawn could never do. I will be returning to your 2015 post to see some more photographs. Have a happy and peaceful summer! I hope that the Olympics go well.

  10. I really love that moss garden, but I believe that you have various different mosses to the ones that we have here, may be yours are more adaptable. I also love the bamboo forest, and am surprised at just how high they can grow.
    Hope all goes well with the Olympics - many countries are taking risks, especially here. The PM seems to consider that because almost everyone is now double vaccinated that the country can proceed as normal, but who knows what unforeseen variants may be on the horizon. One thing is definite, and that is that each new variant appears to be cleverer than the one before.

  11. Hello Yoko,
    What a lovely walk and beautiful views of the moss garden, the bridge and the river. I love the Buddha statues. It is neat seeing the bamboo forest, reminds me of when I saw a Bamboo forest in Hawaii. I hope and pray the Olympic athletes all stay safe and all goes well for the summer games. Take care, have a happy week ahead.

  12. All that greenery is so soothing. As I went with you to walk through the bamboo forest, I glanced to my side to see my little bamboo plant which is many years old. I think it was given as a housewarming gift 26 years ago! Have a wonderful summer break, Yoko. Enjoy your family and stay well!

  13. Yoko - when I lived in Ohio and a lawn was important to me, I despised moss. Now that I am older and wiser :-) I know that moss is unique and it grows where grass will not. So I have a new appreciation for the beauty of the moss garden. Your last mosaic has a composition and variety that is very eye-catching. Well done! I do not envy the Olympic Committee trying to navigate its way through this situation. I pray that all goes well. Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!

  14. i will never forget this breathtaking virtual journey to this beautiful temple dear Yoko !

    your images are spell casting as always and their effect is everlasting and unforgettable .the moss and bamboo forest is really well captured ,the road under trees is so inviting !

    happy break my friend!
    hope all goes great regarding Olympics and yes i agree my heart longs for times when such normal gatherings are back though care is essential no matter what.

  15. Dear Yoko!
    I am delighted with your photos. Each one is beautiful.
    I dream to see a bamboo forest and a wonderful garden with wonderful moss with my own eyes.
    Hugs and greetings, Dear Yoko:)

  16. Hi Yoko,
    Thank you for this wonderful virtual through all these green and amazing landscapes. Japan is a fantastic country, I hope one day I will be able to visit again.
    Hugs and all the best for you

  17. Absolutely incredible shades of green, Yoko! I am amazed how you capture the mosses making them look tangible.
    Wishing you relaxing restful lazy summer time, and please try to switch off your mind from pandemic worries. The world will survive without our constant worrying about it. I keep reminding myself of it, too.
    We’ve been on a break at the seaside, planning another later on. Too short to feel restored. Well, at this time we have to be thankful for this. Will probably write about my discoveries.
    Take care, dear friend, with warmest feelings,

  18. Such Powerful Photo - Well Done



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