September 23, 2009

Maple leaves in Engaku-ji temple

The clear sunbeam of autumn was penetrating the maple leaves and creating an unexpected and brilliant composition of vivid greens above "Myo-kou-ike" (a pond of sweet fragrance) of the garden.

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers in Engaku-ji temple

Under the bright sky of early autumn, these red "Higan-bana" flowers seemed to be the frozen incarnation of fiery fire.

A stone bridge in the garden of Kaizo-ji temple

A small stone bridge in a garden of enlightenment.

Lespedeza flowers in Chojyu-ji temple

Along a narrow hill-load to "Kame-ga-yatsu" (which means "a valley of frightened turtles") a cascade of bloomy Bush-clover flowers sparkled in the afternoon sunlight.

The tea house of Kaizo-ji temple

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flower in Chojyu-ji temple

Every flower knows a place appropriate for its finest flowering.

September 15, 2009

A Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flower in Engaku-ji temple

"Higan-bana" means a flower which blooms in the equinoctial week ("Higan" in Japanese) of autumn. In this Higan week, Japanese people customarily visit the graves of their ancestors in temples to conduct Buddhist memorial services. This plant is also called "Manjyu shage," which originates from Buddhist doctrine and means "a flower of heaven."

A Higan-bana flower is the typical and characteristic flower of autumn in the Zen gardens of Kita-kamakura and its vivid and graceful appearance declares the definite beginning of autumn.

Maple leaves in Engaku-ji temple

Lespedeza (bush clover) flowers in Engaku-ji temple

The San-mon of Engaku-ji temple

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers in Engaku-ji temple

The garden of Shourei-in in Engaku-ji temple

The stone-garden of Shourei-in in Engaku-ji temple

September 9, 2009

Lespedeza flowers in Chojyu-ji temple

In Kamakura, Lespedeza (bush clover) flowers symbolize the arrival of autumn. The cascades of these small flowers quietly herald the entrance of the most beautiful season of Japan.

Keitou (Celosia argentea) flowers in Jyochi-ji temple

Hana-toranoo flowers in Jyochi-ji temple

In the quiet garden of Jyouchi-ji temple, I saw a bunch of full-blown "Hana-tora-no-o " (tiger-tail flowers) shining lively under the clear afternoon sunlight. The miniature five-storied pagoda of this garden added elegant beauty to this quiet and brilliant scene.

A Shaka-Nyorai statue in Tokei-ji temple

A path for a prayer through the tranquil garden of zen.

September 4, 2009

A white bell-flower in Tokei-ji temple

Although the flowering season of bell-flowers is almost over, I found one white bell-flower remaining in the garden of Toukei-ji temple. This small white flower seemed to silently regret the demise of brillant sunlight of summertime.

Shukaidou (Hardy begonia) flowers in Engaku-ji temple

A sacred lotus flower in Engaku-ji temple

Because autumn is coming in Kamakura, this beautiful late-blooming flower of Buddha seemed to be a wonderful and surprising gift given upon departure of summer. I encountered this flower in the garden of Ryu-in-an (which means "the hut where a dragon hides") of Engaku-ji.

The garden of Kaizo-ji temple