June 11, 2018

Suiren (water lily) flowers: Ofuna botanical garden (Kamakura)

Suiren (water lily) flowers: Ofuna botanical garden (Kamakura)


The thick foliage and the bright sunlight of early summer are calmly reflected on the slight ripples of this water-lily pond.

The graceful flowers and circular leaves are inlaid over the quiet water surface and are in harmony with the impressive atmosphere of flickering light and colors.

The gentle breezes are sweeping over the pond to transform the reflected picture of light and colors ceaselessly.

(as an homage to Claude Monet)

Hanashobu (iris) flowers: Ofuna botanical garden (Kamakura)

Hanashobu (iris) flowers: Ofuna botanical garden (Kamakura)


Basking in the bright early-summer sun, the fragile silken flowers of iris are blooming stunningly to the utmost.

The wet and warm atmosphere just before the rainy season gives birth to the precious gradations of violet colors and the exquisite figures of these flowers. Each flower blooms only for three days and becomes withered up too soon.

(From these violet iris flowers, I remember the beautiful painting titled "The Iris Garden At Giverny" by Claude Monet.)



Iwatabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Tokei-ji

Iwatabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Tokei-ji


In Kita-kamakura, the tiny violet flower of Iwatabako is a notable symbol of the summer rainy season.

Together with colorful hydrangea flowers, Iwatabako flowers let us know that summer has come around and the rainy days of June will begin soon again.


Hanashobu (iris) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Hanashobu  (iris) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Iwatabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Tokei-ji

Iwatabako (Conandron ramondioides) flower: Tokei-ji

Suiren (water lily) flower: Kita-kamakura

Suiren (water lily) flower: Kita-kamakura


Again this year, one suiren flower quietly bloomed on the water surface in my small garden.


Hanashobu (iris) flowers: Tokei-ji

Hanashobu (iris) flowers: Tokei-ji

Kaiu (Zantedeschia) flowers: Kaizoji

Kaiu (Zantedeschia) flowers: Kaizoji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji


Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

May 30, 2018

Rose garden: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)


Led by the magic of bewitching colors and enticing scents, I absently strayed into the summer rose garden.

In the garden full of the dazzling sunlight, the countless rose flowers were blooming in radiant glory as if to compete with one another in their own beauty and aroma.

By this breathtaking beauty of full-blown rose flowers in the sun, I was reminded of the painting entitled "The Path Under The Rose Trellises, Giverny" by Claude Monet, which painting tells me about the profound respect and admiration of this artist for the exquisite impression of sunlight and the sincere beauty of plants.



Rose garden: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden_Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden_Ohuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden_Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden_Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden_Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden_Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

May 13, 2018

Aosuji-ageha (blue-triangle) butterfly: Kencho-ji

Aosuji-ageha (blue-triangle)butterfly: Kencho-ji


Like a graceful daydream flitting in the bright sunlight, the blue-striped summer butterfly suddenly appeared from nowhere in the air and alighted on the small white flower before my eyes.

In an instant, it sucked nectar from the flower while beating its wings and then quickly fleeted from one flower to the next for eagerly seeking nectar. Immediately after doing so, it swiftly flied high up and vanished into thin air.

Summer butterflies are beginning to fly around here to let me realize that the season of the dazzling sun has just arrived.



Baika-utsugi (Philadelphus satsumi) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Baika-utsugi (Philadelphus satsumi) flowers: Kaizo-ji


Every flower devotedly blooms like a beautiful and transient daydream.


A moment of stillness: Engaku-ji

A moment of stillness: Engaku-ji


At the very instant when the monk quietly got up on his feet, the rapid stream of time was frozen by the subtle chemistry of stillness and the absolute present moment revealed itself. 


Fresh green leaves: Shari-den, Engaku-ji

Fresh green leaves: Shari-den, Engaku-ji


The early summer breeze was gently blowing down from the slope thickly covered with the dazzling fresh green and was conveying to me the quiet aura of enlightenment which was completely pervading this small valley.


Kakitsubata (Iris laevigata) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Kakitsubata (Iris laevigata) flowers: Kaizo-ji

New leaves above the pond: Tsurugaoka-hachimangu

New leaves above the pond: Tsurugaoka-hachimangu

Shaga (Iris japonica) flowers: Engaku-ji

Shaga (Iris japonica) flowers: Engaku-ji


Hime-utsugi (Deutzia gracilis) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Hime-utsugi (Deutzia gracilis) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Tsutsuji (Rhododendron) flowes: Kaizo-ji

Tsutsuji (Rhododendron) flowes: Kaizo-ji

Sekkoku (Dendrobium moniliforme) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Sekkoku (Dendrobium moniliforme) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Spring garden: Jochi-ji

Spring garden: Jochi-ji

Shiran (Bletilla striata Bletilla) flowers: Engaku-ji

Shiran (Bletilla striata Bletilla) flowers: Engaku-ji

April 28, 2018

Fresh green leaves of spring: Engaku-ji



Various new leaves have just emerged all at once and many kinds of fresh green are quickly flooding this peaceful garden.

These green colors, which are shining brightly in the abundant warm sunlight of mid-spring, represent the vivid vital sparks of plants. The brisk breeze passing through the new leaves lets me reaffirm that the cycle of life and growth is repeated as ever.

I deeply sensed the silent joy of all living things within the pleasant air drifting gently in this fresh green place.



Hana-matsuri (the anniversary of the birth of Buddha): Kaizo-ji

Hana-matsuri (the anniversary of the birth of Buddha): Kaizo-ji


On April 8, in almost all Japanese Buddhist temples, the "Hana-matsuri" (flower festival), which is also called "Kan-butsu-e" (the festival of bathing the new-born Buddha), is held for celebrating the birthday of Buddha.

A tiny "Hana-mido" (flower shrine) is decorated with various beautiful spring flowers. A small basin called "Kan-butsu-oke" (the tub for bathing Buddha) is filled with "Ama-cha" (sweet hydrangea tea). In this basin, an image of the newborn Buddha is placed and the worshipers pour Ama-cha tea onto this image for celebrating his birthday.

This practice of pouring Ama-cha is based on the legend that the nine dragons of heaven poured pure rainwater onto the newborn Buddha to give him a his first bath.

This newborn Buddha is standing in the symbolic pose for declaring that he is his own Lord throughout heaven and earth (Tenjyo-tenge-yuigadokuson) by pointing his fingers at heaven and earth.


Botan (Paeonia suffruticosa) flowers: Kencho-ji

Botan (Paeonia suffruticosa) flowers: Kencho-ji


Like beautiful and devotional offerings, the spring-peony flowers are blooming in full glory beside the quiet stone path leading to the "Sho-do" shrine (the shrine in which the image of the founder is placed).

This inmost shrine of Kencho-ji temple is sacred to the memory of Lanxi Daolong, who crossed over to Japan and founded this temple as a Rinzai-Zen training monastery by request of the regent of the Kamakura shogunate in the 13th century.

A peony flower is called the queen of flowers and was introduced into Japan from China.


Fuji (Wisteria floribunda) flowers: Engaku-ji

Fuji (Wisteria floribunda) flowers: Engaku-ji

Ruri-tateha (Kaniska canace) butterfly: Engaku-ji

Ruri-tateha (Kaniska canace) butterfly: Engaku-ji


A newly hatched butterfly was resting its blue-striped wings on the stone by the pond.


Botan (Paeonia suffruticosa) flowers: Engaku-ji

Botan (Paeonia suffruticosa) flowers: Engaku-ji

Fresh green leaves: Jyuhuku-ji

Fresh green leaves: Jyuhuku-ji

Shaga (Iris japonica) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Shaga (Iris japonica) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Tanpopo (Taraxacum) flowers: Kaizo-ji


Tsutsuji (Rhododendron) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Tsutsuji (Rhododendron) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Hananira (Ipheion uniflorum) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Hananira (Ipheion uniflorum) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Spring garden: Ofuna botanical garden (Kamakura)

Spring garden: Ofuna botanical garden (Kamakura)

Shakunage (rhododendron) flowers: Ofuna botanical garden (Kamakura)

Shakunage (rhododendron) flowers: Ofuna  botanical garden (Kamakura)

April 3, 2018

Yama-zakura (Prunus jamasakura) blossoms: Genji-yama (Kita-kamakura)

Yama-zakura (Prunus jamasakura) blossoms: Genji-yama


In the true height of spring, with the help of a rapid rise of temperature, every living thing awakens suddenly from its long quiet sleep and this season of tireless resurgence starts with very hurried steps.

Diverse spring flowers burst into bloom in the twinkling of an eye and a variety of new leaves quickly appear in one breath. In concert with this lively transformation, birds begin twittering their love songs to chant the joy of spring.

The enchantment of this jubilant season silently arouses the lusty vital force of all living things that are interconnected with each other.


Cherry blossoms: Engaku-ji

Cherry blossoms: Engaku-ji


When I look at a flower, I often feel like seeing a beautiful but fragile illusion which has no physical reality. Because a flower must vanish away soon after it blooms, most likely I can never find the current flower right in front of me once again.

A flower transiently blooms just once in this world and I encounter such a flower only once in my lifetime.

Cherry blossoms: Engaku-ji

Cherry blossoms: Engaku-ji

Shidare-zakura (Prunus pendula Maxim.) blossoms: Tokei-ji

Shidare-zakura (Prunus pendula Maxim.) blossoms