December 24, 2011

Fallen Autumnal tints in Tenryu-ji (Kyoto)

The fallen colorful leaves of maple are quietly piling up on the ground covered with dark green moss.

These brilliant tints in the garden are creating the colorful mosaic of this fading-away season.

Soon the white flakes of the first snow will lightly fly down to this garden to cover the fallen leaves with pale whiteness.

May the Joy and Peace of Christmas be with you now and throughout the new year.

Autumn leaves in Tenryu-ji (Kyoto)

Like a bright sunset grow, the leaves of autumn are calmly flaming in the declining sun.

Autumn leaves in Arashi-yama (Kyoto)

The various autumnal colors are elegantly covering the gentle hillside along the Katsura River.

After winter goes, the countless spring blossoms of Sakura will beautify this hillside spectacularly.

The garden of Zen in Shokoku-ji (Kyoto)

This renowned garden of Zen is called "the garden of Ryu-en-sui."
 "Ryu-en-sui" means "the water of the abyss where a dragon lives."

This garden is one of the great gardens designed by Muso Soseki in the 15th century. This garden is located in front of "Kaizan-to" (the founder's hall) of this Zen temple.

The colored wood statue of Muso Soseki is enshrined in this Kaizan-to as the great founder of this temple.

The stone-built ditch outside the Kare-sansui rock garden was once filled with clear running water.

December 18, 2011

Bamboo trees and autumn leaves in Tenryu-ji (Kyoto)

Kyoto is the eternal capital of beauty in our country.

The gardens of Zen are elaborately composed of natural elements to aesthetically symbolize the spirituality of Zen and the tea ceremony, which puts the highest value on harmony, respect, purity and tranquility.

The evergreen Bamboo trees, the flaming autumn leaves just before their falling and the weathered plaster wall are portraying an elegant and memorable scene, which tells us about the eternal moment in the time passing away so swiftly.

Autumn leaves and Sazanka flowers in Tenryu-ji (Kyoto)

In the front garden of the Hojo hall of Tenryu-ji.

The colorful leaves of maple and the purplish red flowers of Sazanka (camellia) presented such gorgeous patterns as delicate printed silk of Kyo-yuzen.

Autumn leaves in Tenryu-ji (Kyoto)

When I saw this scene from far away, I was momentarily seized by the illusion that huge blaze was silently rising into the air.

The blazing red of the autumn leaves contrasted well with the cold silver of the tile roofs.

The pond garden of Tenryu-ji (Kyoto)

This beautiful pond garden of Tenryu-ji is esteemed as one of the best masterpieces in the art of landscaping in Japan.

This Zen garden was originally designed by Muso Soseki in the 15th century so as to artistically represent the state of enlightenment (Satori) which a Zen monk finally experiences.

This pond is called "Sogen-chi," which is derived from the Zen word "Sogen no itteki sui" which means that a droplet of water finally makes the vast ocean.

The arrangement of rocks in the back is presenting the landscape of a waterfall, which symbolizes "Toryu-mon" of Chinese legend.

Toryu-mon means "a gateway for changing into a dragon."   A carp can become a dragon by climbing over this towering waterfall.

December 10, 2011

Autumnal Momiji leaves in Tofuku-ji (Kyoto)

A monk meditates his way into a state of bliss and enlightenment sitting still on the corridor of the Buddha hall fronting a beautiful garden.

The garden of Zen is a living picture on a sacred theme, which is composed of earth, air, sun, water and seasons.

Autumn leaves in Tofuku-ji (Kyoto)

Beside the gallery to Kaizan-do hall (the founder's shrine of this temple).

Autumn leaves In Tofuku-ji

In front of the Aizen-do Hall of Tofuku-ji.

This vermilion octagon shrine is sacred to Aizen-myoo or the Buddhist deity of love.

Autumn leaves in Tofuku-ji (Kyoto)

In the soft slanting sun of late afternoon,  the garden was ablaze with autumnal colors.

Autumn leaves in Tofuku-ji (Kyoto)

Tsuten-kyo bridge corridor and the red gold autumnal leaves of trefoil maple trees.

"Tsuten-kyo" means "the bridge which is built across the sky."

Autumn leaves in Tofuku-ji (Kyoto)

I saw the silver tile roofs and white walls of the Hojo (abbot's chamber) and Shoin (study) buildings across the flaming leaves.

Autumn leaves in Tofuku-ji (Kyoto)

Looking down into the ravine called "Sengyoku-kan" which is decorated brilliantly with colorful autumnal tints.

 "Sengyoku-kan" means "water for washing jade."

December 8, 2011

Autumn leaves in the Sogen-chi garden of Tenryu-ji (Kyoto)

I made a brief trip to Kyoto to appreciate the exquisite autumnal leaves in the gardens of Zen.

Fortunately, the weather was good and the flaming autumnal colors remained at peak.

The breathtaking beauty of the gorgeously colored gardens produced the illusions in my mind that I was standing in the Pure Land of Amida Buddha.

Tenryu-ji is the head temple of the Tenryu branch of Rinzai Zen Buddhism. This elegant pond garden is one of the great achievements of Muso Soseki, who was the first chief priest of this temple and is reputed to be the most eminent Zen garden designer in Japan.

Autumn leaves in Tofuku-ji (Kyoto)

December 7, 2011

The Sogen-chi garden of Tenryu-ji (Kyoto)

This magnificent pond garden is one of the greatest masterpieces in the art of landscaping of Japan.

This Zen garden was created by Muso Soseki in the 15th century so as to represent the state of Satori (enlightenment) which a Zen monk seeks.

This pond is called "Sogen-chi," which is derived from the Zen word "Sogen no itteki sui." This  means that a droplet of water finally makes the vast ocean.

Autumn leaves in Hogen-in of Tenryu-ji (Kyoto)

This garden is called Shishiku-no-niwa, which means "the garden where a lion roars."

December 2, 2011

Autumn leaves in Engaku-ji

Time is passing by so rapidly before our eyes and the year is drawing to a close.

The stream of time waits for no man. The seasons calmly revolve moment by moment.

The bitter chill of winter has finally arrived here to make the maple leaves turn to vivid red and yellow just before their falling.

A Tsubaki (camellia) flower in Tokei-ji

A Tsubaki flower blooms in the gray coldness of winter and lends a precious touch of color to the wintry gardens of Zen just like a crimson flame.

This flower falls flawlessly without scattering its petals and remains in full glory on the cold ground for some time.

Autumn leaves in Engaku-ji

Momiji (maple) leaves in Tokei-ji