September 03, 2011

What Do You See in Fifteen Rocks and White Gravels?・・・ Kyoto

I had been away from my blog for a long time because I had very bad summer fatigue.  Also my mother has been weaker on account of old age and has needed more help.
I am glad to restart my blog, but sorry if I slow down. It depends on my mother's condition.

Probably, this is the most famous and remarkable Japanese garden in the world;a dry landscape garden of Ryoan-ji Temple in Kyoto, laid out around 1500.
The rock garden measures only 25 meters wide and 10 meters deep.
How simple and small it is!

The garden is made of only fifteen rocks, white gravels and moss. Interesting enough, no matter where you view the fifteen rocks from, you can not see all of them at the same time. This reflects the philosophy of Zen Buddhism as well as the Japanese appreciation of the imperfection.  Fifteen is considered as the perfect number. 

According to one book, there is the spot in the main hall
where we can see all fifteen rocks at the same time, but the main hall has not been allowed to enter
so I could not check if it is true or not.

Many priests of Zen Buddhism have meditated facing the rock garden.

Every visitor sits on  his or her favorite place of  the veranda and  gazes at the garden. Maybe  they quietly speak to rocks in their mind. I'm sure the rocks will listen to them

This spot is my favorite . I feel as if I saw and heard water. 
 The longer I gaze at the garden, the larger it looks.

It is said that the raked white gravels represent the ocean with beautiful flowing streams, and the rocks are compared to the mountains. What a genius came up with this unique idea of creating a dry landscape garden without using water!

There are other interpretations about the lay-out of the garden. The immense universe, the ocean with islands or a sea of clouds with mountains and so on. It doesn't matter at all as it is open to your imagination.  What do you see here?

Don't miss a huge, serene pond along the approach to the main hall.  This pond is the multi-colored world  while the rock garden is rather the monochromatic one. I admired the beauty of blooming flowers, but I prefered the rusty elegance of the leaves to the flowers at this time.

A tinny butterfly looks happy surrounded by happy yellow. (in Nara Park)

Visit "Our World" and learn more !!

"My World" was over because of the passing of Klaus Peter , the founder of "My World".
My blog was nurtured through "My World" a lot. I offer my deepest condolences to him.


  1. Yay! You are back! Sorry to hear about the fatigue and your mother being ill. But please don't stop taking pictures. You are such a talented photographer. I watch your blog with eagerness for your next posting.

  2. Welcome back, Narastoryteller. Please enjoy your life. Don't let blogging or taking photos become a burden to you. That would give viewing your pictures a bitter taste.

  3. I am so happy you are telling us stories again. This post is beautiful - it makes me feel peaceful and quiet inside, and your photos are lovely. Marc is right; life comes first. Welcome back!

  4. Oh how I have missed you. I am sorry to hear of your fatigue and your mother's illness. Please, please, please take care of yourself and blog when you desire. We'll all be here waiting when your time is right.

  5. I am glad you are back. I have missed reading your blog, as it is always so beautiful and interesting. I hope your mother remains reasonably well, old age is such a burden but she is lucky to have you to help her.

    I'd like to see the rock garden. Your photographs of the water lilies took my breath away, they bring out the beauty of the scene - I wish I could buy a calendar with pictures like this.

  6. Welcome back, snowwhite! As your absence got longer, I got concerned if you were all right since you had been passionate with photography and blogging. I like it when your photos create wondrous and miraculous world.

    Take care of yourself as well as your mother. I know how it is as I'm doing the same with my 90-year-old mother.

  7. Hi, snowwhite.
    Your photos are always fabirous.
    They attract me so much that I forget this real world for a while seeing them.
    Thank you and please take care of yourself.

  8. Marc,
    To take photos is not burdden to me at all even in the terrible heat. On the contrary, it is a great pleasure in my life. It is strange that while I was taking photos, I never felt tired and enjoyed it. But after coming back home, I found myself extremely tired. I repeated this during summer suffering bad summer exhaustion.
    Thank you for your concern.

  9. Welcome back, snowwhite!
    I enjoyed a lot reading this post with fabulous photos!! I love the photo of the large lotus leaves!!


  10. 池の湖面に浮かぶ蓮の葉のように、時を経て色が変わろうとも、いろいろな事で心ざわめく水面(日常)にも 静かに浮かんで 移りゆく空を眺めていたいですね。素敵な写真を拝見できて、私もまた頑張れそうです。いつもありがとう。疲れが出る季節、どうぞご自愛くださいね。

  11. Welcome back. I'm glad I can watch your marvelous pictures again. I like the eighth and ninth photos. The pond has really multicolored world.
    Thank you for lovely post.
    Take care of your mother.

  12. It's so good to see you back! I've missed your photos! Ryoanji is one of the first temples I visited in Kyoto. I love how peaceful it is. Just sitting there and gazing across the garden was wonderful. I hope I can visit again soon.

    Hope both you and your mother are feeling better soon!

  13. Great shots! - The fruits are apples. - See you tomorrow on Our World :)

  14. Lovely to have you back.It's interesting to see this garden from your perspective.
    What secrets do these stones hold?
    Your photos are all beautiful,but I love the butterfly in happy yellow,it looks like a painting.
    I hope that you and your mother feel better as autumn approaches.
    All best wishes,

  15. Really beautiful and lovely photos. An interesting and beautiful garden pond. Mifavorita is photo number 7359. Greetings.

  16. もう まさに息をのむ写真の連続ですね。大御所が帰ってきた!という感じです。文章も端的で美しい。
    I'm very happy you came back.Please take it easy and enjoy blogging.

  17. Yeah, the lotus leaves are lovely.

  18. Such an interesting contrast between dry rocks and vivid water scenery! I especially like the picture with lotus leaves, img7359 - colours are just magnificent!

    I hope autumn will be bring more strength to you and your mother.

    I'm really eager to see more posts here :-)

  19. I'm sending positive thoughts to your mother.

    So glad you're back to wow us with your beautiful words and photos. That rock garden is amazing!

  20. Hi Snowwhite,
    Glad to see your post after a long time! May your mother become hale and hearty soon...
    This rock garden looks very scenic with a very contemplative setting...
    The beautiful pond provides the perfect backdrop...
    Have a wonderful week ahead:)

  21. An amazing sequence of photos. I especially like your favourite view.

  22. What a wonderful garden, simple, but delivers a powerful message. Your photos are absolutely beautiful!

  23. I am Japanese. English do not be spoken well. [**]
    "Butterfly" of which it took a picture in Nara Park gave the advanced technique and beauty too much and shock extremely was given to me.
    Please give the data when it takes a picture by all means when there is a chance.

    A certain person is said by the person and exists.
    It is already continuous of the photograph in which it catches its breath exactly. The leading figure came back. It is feeling. Sentences are frank and beautiful, too.
    It restarts slowly by my pace.
    It is said. と!

    Without forgetting the thing that only the reader's being confronted the work of snowwhite gives a lot of pleasure and admiration

    I will propose the thing that is slowed down while thinking about the thing in the future and got over. Please fight bravely. And, please look for the compromise.

  24. Hi, Happy

    Data are below,

    Aperture priority
    Tv 1/320
    Av 8.0
    exposure compensation -1/3
    ISO 800
    focusing length 270.0mm

    If you need more, please ask me.

  25. What fabulous photos you offer of your visit to the tranquil garden. I visited a rock garden in Portland's Japanese Garden in the spring. Such a landscape offers the mind a chance for rest and reflection. I do love the lily pads, however - I like how you photographed the light coming through the leaves. That little butterfly must be in Heaven! I hope both you and your Mother remain well.

  26. Excellent photos!

    I've liked Japanese rock gardens for as long as I can remember. The are so beautiful and peaceful. Some day I'd like to watch one being created.

    I'm glad to see you back in the blog world. It's perfectly understandable if you aren't able to post or comment on a regular basis. I hope the best for your mother.

  27. snowwhite.. hello.

    Thank you for the taking a picture data a busy conduct oneself and immediately. How about the condition of the body?

    Because impossibility lengthens the result, Please take care of youreself.

    Is it 270.0mm of Aperture priority Tv1/320Av8.0 exposure compensation -1/3ISO800 focal length?

    In the lens of 270.0mm, it is considerably heavy. There was often no blur impolitely and it was possible to take a picture.

    It is an unbelievable work if it makes it to me when thinking about the thing of subject though that work is published two pieces and exists.

    The expression said, "Catch one's breath" that cosmos means is exactly fit. Thank you.

    Incoherent writing [**]

  28. Hello, snowwhite.

    Far-off past, I have been to Ryoan-ji Temple in midsummer.
    I who was young was not able to understand the profound.

    It may be felt the ease now.

    Thank you.

  29. Gorgeous pictures...
    Thanks a lot for your visit !
    Regards from France,



Thanks a lot for visiting my blog and leaving warm messages. I will visit your site soon. keiko