Saturday, May 16, 2015

2015 Japan Cherry Blossom Trip 22: A Poetic Zen Garden, Sogenchi Garden of Tenryu-ji

Well, this post is the prettiest record of flora in Sogenchi Garden.

Sogenchi Garden is the most beautiful site in Tenryu-ji. It is designed as a strolling pond garden by Muso Soseki, the Zen master who led the construction of Tenryu-ji. It employs "borrowed scenery" (shakkei) of Mt. Arashi (left), Mt. Kame and Mt. Ogura (front) and Mt. Atago (right). It also fuses the painting style of Yamato and Zen style of Song and Yuan Dynasty of China.

The pond recieved the name Sogenchi when Muso Soseki discovered a stone stele inscribed with the characters of "Sogen itteki" when removing the mud from the pond. This garden is listed as World Cultural Heritage in 1994.

Mitsuba Tsutsuji (lit. Three leaves Rhododendron)

Nihon-no-homare Tsubaki (lit. Japanese Glory Camellia)

Niwa Sakura (lit. Courtyard Cherry)

Sogenchi outside Hojo

South side of Hojo

Muramusume (lit. Village Girl, Camellia)

Ojima Sakura (lit. Big Island Cherry)

Ryumontei (Shigetsu), a restaurant provided high class Zen vegetarian meal. Its opening hours is from 11 am to 2 pm only.

Yamabuki (lit. Mountain Blow, Japanese Kerria)

Mitsuba Tsutsuji (lit. Three leaves Rhododendron) on hill

Small plants on the hill

Sarujima Sakura (lit. Monkey Island Cherry)

Heiwa Kannon and Ai-no-izumi

Heiwa Kannon is a statue brought from ancient China. It is believed that Muso Soseki's mother dreamed about Kannon when she was pregnant, so Muso Soseki believed in Kannon throughout his life and dedicate himself in peace during Nanboku-cho Period ("South and North Courts Period"). Therefore, this Kannon statue is named as Heiwa Kannon or literally Peace Kannon.

Ai-no-izumi (lit. Love Spring) is a spring come from 80 meter underground. It is believed that those who drink the water will receive love and happiness.

Yuki Yanagi (lit. Snow Willow)

Bake (Flowering quince)

Moso Chiku (Moso bamboo)

Kohigan Cherry

Shirotae Cherry

Choji Cherry or Huji Modoki (Lilac daphne)

We enjoyed the view of these beautiful flora under spring drizzle. I could still remember the fragrance when writing this post.

It's 5 pm when we left Tenryu-ji. Before we ended the trip, we rushed to the Togetsu Bridge nearby before the sky became dark. 


Full Moon that Seems Crossing the Bridge, Togetsu Bridge

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