July 31, 2019

Sacred lotus flower: Kencho-ji

Sacred lotus flower: Kencho-ji


During the brief period of only four days, the flower of sacred lotus opens quietly, comes into full bloom splendidly, and then falls apart in just one breath of air.

In the bright glaring sunlight of midsummer, I found a lotus flower which had already finished its role in life and passed its best time of bloom.

Its golden stamens were drooping gracefully around the pollinated receptacle. The bright magenta petals had begun bending gradually, waiting for the time to be scattered in the summer gentle breeze without losing their dignity.


Blue heron: Tsurugaoka-hachimangu

Blue heron: Tsurugaoka-hachimangu


On the wooden floating bridge lying on the pond, a blue heron is standing still, gazing fixedly at the water surface in search of prey.

The thick green leaves of sacred lotus are flourishing vigorously and covering the water surface almost thoroughly.

Just like the ardent voice emitted by the dazzling sun of high summer, the lively chirping of cicadas is continuing to sound over the pond endlessly.


Summer blue sky: Tsurugaoka-hachimanbu

Summer blue sky: Tsurugaoka-hachimanbu


Summer rainy season had already passed by without a trace. The countless colorful flowers of Ajisai had vanished completely like a fleeting illusion which the rainy sky had let me see.

Now the intense sunlight of midsummer is blazing on oppressively to erase the faintest memories of long rain from the summer sky.

Lush green trees and plants are thirstily absorbing strong sunlight to continue their robust growth with rapture. The rows of solid-white cirrocumulus clouds are firmly suspended in the true blue sky high above me.


Sacred lotus flower: Kencho-ji

Sacred lotus flower: Kencho-ji


By the side of the Karamon (Chinese gate) of this old Zen temple, a white silky lotus flower is blooming in a modest and noble manner in the beaming sun of high summer.

A flower of sacred lotus patiently comes up to the surface of muddy water and opens in an untainted and pure figure in the rising sun.

Because of this, in the teachings of Buddha, a lotus flower is regarded as a blessed symbol of the infinite wisdom and compassion which Buddha gives us.


Lily flowers: Engaku-ji

Lily flowers: Engaku-ji

Stone image of Kannon Bosatsu: Engaku-ji

Stone image of Kannon Bosatsu: Engaku-ji

Sacred lotus flower: Kencho-ji

Sacred lotus flower: Kencho-ji

Water lily flowers: Kaizo-ji

Water lily flowers: Kaizo-ji

Sacred lotus flower: Kencho-ji

Sacred lotus flower: Kencho-ji

Nouzen-kazura (Campsis grandiflora) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Nozen-kazura (Campsis grandiflora) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Sacred lotus flower: Kencho-ji

Sacred lotus flower: Kencho-ji

July 11, 2019

Ajisai (Hydrangea macrophylla) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ajisai (Hydrangea macrophylla) flowers: Kita-kamakura


The colorful flower of Ajisai is one of the most precious gifts from this summer rainy season in Kita-kamakura.

The hazy sunlight falls down from the cloudy sky and softly enhances the subtle mixtures and gradations of various colors which Ajisai flowers present.

The humid warm air after a short rainfall lightly moistens the petals and leaves to try to keep them fresh and glossy against the swift passage of time.


Ajisai (Hydrangea macrophylla) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ajisai (Hydrangea macrophylla) flowers: Kita-kamakura


In the long spell of rainy weather, the flowers of Ajisai bloom vigorously one after another and continue changing their colors with the aid of the enigmatic chemistry between rain and soil. 

As rainwater flows into their ornamental petals, the variations and shades of colors spread gradually on the surface of the petals like the pale watercolors for a painting of rain.


Gaku-ajisai (Hydrangea macrophylla f. normalis) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Gaku-ajisai (Hydrangea macrophylla f. normalis) flowers: Kaizo-ji


After the long rain, the patches of blue sky have just appeared through breaks in the thick clouds unexpectedly.

The vivid blue flowers of Ajisai are shining brightly in the momentary summer sun to let me remind that dazzling high summer will soon arrive and dominate here in company with the unclouded deep azure sky.


Gaku-ajisai (Hydrangea macrophylla f. normalis) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Gaku-ajisai (Hydrangea macrophylla f. normalis) flowers: Kaizo-ji