May 31, 2011

Radiant Green

Isui-en Garden in Nara, which is a traditional Japanese garden, is almost a secret spot. Because not so many people know this garden even though the garden is incredibly aesthetic.
Isui-en Garden means "Depending on Water Garden". The ponds and brooks enhance its superb beauty and water is drawn from Yoshiki River.
the back garden late May

The garden has special attraction of flowers, trees and plants in each season like other Japanese gardens. What I admire the most in this season is moss. Especially after rain, moss is radiant.

The best season to enjoy viewing moss is one-month-long rainy season and early summer. This year already rainy season started about two weeks earlier than usual.
 Moss is delicate plant which requires proper humidity,temperature, shade and sunlight to grow.
As Isui-en Garden is the depending on water garden, it gives moss ideal environment. It is said that there are 600 or even 2000 varieties of moss in Japan. It tells Japanese people really love moss.

Tiny flowers of moss are in full bloom now, reaching out the sun.

In Japanese culture, moss is highly appreciated and the gardens carpeted with moss are the symbol of tranquility, serenity and profoundness. It takes moss a long time to grow and cover the land surface. It reminds us of patience, continuity or auspicious things.

But there is a saying “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” I wonder whether moss is good or not in this saying or in different culture.

As the name of the garden shows, no matter where you go in the garden, you  feel water.
Small cascade. If you feel it big, the small cascade looks big.

water lily in full bloom

A set of green tea and dry sweets is served at the price of 500 or 700 yen. It is good
 to spend luxury time having tea and viewing the garden.

The garden is short distance from Todai-ji Temple  and near the main road, but the garden is serene and solitude as if it were cut away from the rest of the world. In spring, you can hear bush warblers singing. This is the place where you enjoy the condensed beauty of nature in the different dimension. 
This garden is not a  moss garden. It is famous for beautiful flowers.
Camellia, Ume in winter, Sakura( cherry flowers) in spring,  Lotus flower in summer,Autumn leaves and more.     

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  1. such a beautiful place. the plants and waterscapes are magical. loved the blooming moss shot! :)

  2. Beautiful shots of garden. It is very scenic.

  3. Fabulous green scenes, and I wish my moss looked like the stuff you show us. In that case I wouldn't mind having it around.
    Lovely images and the silhouette header is very good too.

  4. A magical and beautiful place it is! And your photos are breathtaking as always! Such a delight to visit your beautiful country each week through your captures! Have a wonderful week!


  5. i'm totally enchanted! can't get enough of your photos. a truly beautiful garden.

  6. A secret garden, how wonderful! Beautiful photos, with so much green.

  7. I would say essentially Japenese, complete to the tea.. We do not value moss here. Great sequence. Boom & Gary Of the Vermilon River.

  8. Sometimes I like to be in the deep forest, where everything is covered in moss. It creates a very strange and magical impression.
    "A rolling stone gathers no moss" is a saying with a neutral attitude towards moss. It means that someone who is always on the move, will never acquire the signs of belonging to just one place.
    I think it has an extra meaning in that it is sometimes used to suggest that the "rolling stone" person cannot settle down into relationships, the "moss" being a symbol of settled relationships with other people.

  9. It must indeed be a different dimension. Fearing to speak much, a deep bow in respect of such beauty.

    daily athens

  10. everything looks so green. what a beautiful garden.

  11. 青い空が取り込まれた風景は理想の楽園のようです。是非一度、新緑の頃訪れてみたいです。ローアングルで奥行のある画面がとても楽しです。Thank you for sharing precious sceneries !

  12. Each shot taken by you always has something special.Sleek smooth green carpent of moss entertains us visitors with its peaceful serenity.

  13. Happy are those people who can be surrounded by such beauty!

  14. What a beautiful place, so serene and peacful. The first photo is stunning! I actually enjoyed all of them!

  15. I just love the stairs with all the cushiony moss! Today, I visited Portland's Japanese Garden. It, too, had much moss because it is so rainy here. The moss covers the ground and clings to the surface of stones. The movement in your water photos is wonderful - I especially like the duck and lily pad one with the ripples. I believe I would enjoy my green tea more in that setting!

  16. Your photos are beautiful and they look like picture postcards!!I love moss and Isui-en Garden too. The waterwheel in your picture reminds me of the local history book on Ikoma mountain and its old photos in the book. The book tells that there used to be a lot of waterwheels on the steep side of Ikoma mountain long time ago. 近鉄線がひかれてから、電気が供給されるようになって、waterwheelも必要とされなくなったと書かれてありましたが。 l love your nostalgic photo of waterwheel.

  17. This is pure magic!

  18. Absolutly beautiful! I too love moss and greenery. Close up the moss resembles a miniature forest.I love the waterlily and duck image,it exudes tranquility.....lovely colours and composition.

    Best wishes,

  19. What a beautiful place, must be great to visit, so much green. I also like the reflections in the water really much.

  20. Beautiful, magical, mystical ...

    I remember visiting Arashiyama in Kyoto, years and years ago. Of course, it was beautiful. But there were so many people, and everyone snapping off pictures. It was so hard to enjoy the beauty.

    Next time, I'm near Todai-ji I'm going to remember Isui-en Garden, thank you! :)

  21. gosh, the place is so beautiful! I'd love to stay there for hours and just savor the place. really great shots! My world entry is here.

  22. hi snowwhite!
    and yet another great post! ^0^
    i could never appreciate our 公園 here.
    probably because it's not as きれいand as serene as this.
    the place doesn't look touristy,
    i love the luscious greens and the peaceful effect it evokes.
    i wish you a nice week ahead... ^0^

  23. I do love moss and also the colour green. I had no idea there were so many kinds of moss. Truly amazing! Moss always makes it's surroundings seem so rich...sort of like velvet.

  24. I LOVE moss!!! It seems places like Nara and Kyoto have so much of it. Your photos are truley gorgeous! They capture the beauty of moss and the park itself! It was also interesting to learn that there were so many types of moss. I had no idea. This makes me appreciate it even more :-D

  25. So beautiful shots. The one of blooming moss is very interesting.
    And waterlily! Their colour are shimmering on the pond.Sigh with longing.

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  30. am a Japanese man. I am not good at speaking English. 。

    I am one of the fans of same Mr. snowwhite as you.

    It have.very sensitive.. nose in Mr. snowwhite.

    It might be a thing to look for this "Isui-en" by "..sensitive.. nose".

    Mr. snowwhite is not a professional photographer.
    However, published "Photograph" is an indeed splendid work.

    There is a word said, "Only the favor is a good experience of the thing" by "Proverb" of Japan.

    Mr. snowwhite seems to love "Nara" and "Camera".

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  32. Beautiful, with delicate tones and colors. I love the reflections in the water and velvety soft texture. Splendid definition allows us to enjoy the finer details. The pure beauty. Very nice pictures, congratulations. Greetings

  33. Thank you for all your comments. At first I thought moss would be obstacles or nuisance in your gardens except Japanese gardens. But, on the contrary, I got to know most of you have positive idea about moss. I am very glad!! I love moss, its texture, tranquility, serenity, peacefulness, profoundness and more.

    Jenny Woolf,
    Thank you for letting me know about the meaning of the saying. I was interested in the interpretations. Maybe I was influenced by the big name “The Rolling Stones”. To be new and innovative, we must move on and go forward always, otherwise we’ll get moss. For me it means “get rusty”. I had stereotype about moss.

    The waterwheel in this garden has not been used for grinding grain any more. Just it has been placed there, so that visitors can feel water by hearing the sound of moving wheel. This device is working very effectively. Yes, it evokes nostalgia.

    Thank you for your comment. I understand how you had hard time to post your comment. I really appreciate your effort. But, I’m sorry you mistyped. I’m Ms. not Mr.

  34. Hi

    Many thanks for introducing this lovely garden to us, snowwhite!! I have never been to the garden. When I have an opportunity to visit Nara again, I'd love to visit it. The colors in your photos are so beautiful especially I love the moss green on the stone!!

    PS 前回のコメント、法隆寺のことを書こうと思ったらボタンの押し違えかなんかで、中途半端のまま出てしまいました(恥) ごめんね。

  35. sapphire,

  36. What a beautiful, magical place! I'm visiting from Run *A* Round Ranch and am your newest follower.

  37. Hello Snowwhite! This part of your world is so beautiful it is like a fairy land. I like the saying of "a rolling stone gathers no moss" because a rolling stone does not still long enough to enjoy the beauty of the land. The moss is like a carpet of velvet. So beautiful. I am not sure my eyes and mind could take all the beauty in. It looks so peacful. This world is beautiful, we just need to stop and look around us. Thank you for sharing your world.

  38. Christian culture is so appreciated the moss that is used to decorate Christmas cribs.
    Beautiful images from a garden show us softly carpeted with green.

  39. It is not the first time I hear about this garden, now that I am a reader of your blog ; Isui-en is becoming famous in fact with your strong pictures... I just love how they present a completly new perspective ; the details like the round moss stone are so incredibly alive when you take their picture...

    Thanks you so much for that sharing, my dear.

  40. A beautiful garden, well captured in all its detail. I especially like the close up of the moss.

  41. Thank you for your comments on moss. I learned a lot about moss from all of you. Really eyeopening! Thanks again.

  42. That a beautiful and peaceful garden. I feel cooler just by looking at your pretty photos. I have a little of moss in my yard and we try not to ever disturb it. A lovely post.

  43. Wow, your photography is fantastic. 写真を綺麗です!私は大好きです!日本に行きたい。。。


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