May 28, 2012

In every wood in every spring there is a different green

May is the best season of year when we can enjoy the numerous hues of burning green.  
One day I walked a nature trail to Mt. Wakakusa through the Kasuga Primeval Forest of Mt. Kasuga in Nara. Kasuga Grand Shrine is at the foot of Mt.Kasuga.

This is a cozy tea room in an old Japanese style, surrounded with fresh maples.
 Here is the start point of the nature trail.

  On its thatched roof, baby maples are growing.

The extensive forest in Mt.Kasuga is considered sacred, so no one is allowed to cut down the trees or hunt animals. Now this primeval forest nurtures many kinds of plants, animals and insects as a sanctuary for the living beings. The forest was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

In every wood in every spring there is  a different green.

The sunlight softly slants through the overlapping leaves. The entire forest looks like a natural cathedral with shimmering emerald stained glasses and  graceful canopies. When a breeze blows over the green canopies, flickering sunlight through the  leaves quietly falls on me. I feel as if I were in the bottom of the sea and looking up at the surface of water. What a  pleasant and soothing moment it is!

 This is the top of Mt. Wakakusa,  Mt. Young Grass,  where  "Grass Burning Festival" is held in January every year.

In every wood in every spring there is  a different green.

When I came back to the start, the charming cafe was closed already.

I got to know this words "In every wood in every spring there is a different green."
 ("I sit and Think" by J.R.R.Tolkien, the anthor of  "The Lord of the Rings".) through Professor Sheffner (his blog).  Also last year he left the similar comment  on my blog "Everything is Bathed in Green Breeze, Isui-en Garden". "In every tree, in every wood, there is a different green" (Bilbo Baggins in "Lord of the Rings").

I have been deeply inspired by the words of Tolkien. For me, his words seem to depict the essence of life in spring green and its mysterious energy.  This spring, I visited a several places to find out the green mentioned by Tolkien.  It was somthing like a quest or pilgimiage with no religious meanings. But, I felt it was enough to visit even only Mt. Kasuga and its forest. Every place had its own unique shades of green.


  1. 苔の緑も含め、ほんとにきれいですね。鹿の色も決して緑をじゃますることなくなじんでいます。

  2. Initially I thought of Fangorn Forest when I read your reference to Tolkien, but then I changed my mind. Fangorn Forest always sounds a bit gloomy, and this forest looks so tranquil and full of light.

    In every wood in every spring there is a different green; in every moment in every meeting there is a new discovery. So it means ... 一期一会? ;)

  3. 木漏れ日が水を通して降りてくるような感覚はわたしも抱いたことがあります。

  4. From the winding road with arching trees to the roof overgrown with moss mingling with fresh leaves, your journey is a circle and one of renewed appreciation for the natural world. Thank goodness such areas are preserved. I like how the deer seem so relaxed as visitors with yellow caps wander through the shared pathways and hills. :)

  5. Cocomino,

    You are right. I just made my interpretation about mountains or forests in very Japanese way. Generally speaking, we have different sentiments towards forests or mountains. They are holy places which give us protection and also give a place to stay to unaccepted beings. I watched the movies “The Lord of the Rings”, but I never thought of Fangorn Forest. Like in Hansel and Gretel, forests are the place where witches live in some cultures. I think I have to think over again what Tolkien meant in his words.


    Aka Penelope,
    The Kasuga Primeval Forest is within ten minute bus ride and ten minute walk from the center of Nara City. In any season, trees please the eye of people. I am happy to say the forest has been protected for about 1300 years as the sacred area.

  6. What a charming post. And the tea house looks like something from a fairy tale. I was wondering what happens to the small maples growing on its roof.

    This month is the best month of the year for me, because not only green but other colours too show in the leaves - red, orange - not boldly like in autumn, but timidly.

  7. Oh, I sit here gazing and sighing and feeling thankful for the beauty of your photos.

  8. I'm captivated by the green of the canopies, and the grace of the trees. I see why you repeat the phrase - it's fitting and describes the scenery very well. I'm happy that you've found inspiration in Tolkien, as you've spurred me to revisit his works. happy week to you Keiko. as usual, my visit here was pure pleasure. thank you for the serenity.

  9. What a beautiful place to be Keiko.
    It looks so wonderfully peaceful there.

  10. I've always thought of Tolkien's Fangorn as gloomy, but Japanese forests are wonderful (and I really mean wonder-filled)!

    I'm so infinitely grateful that I can walk alone in Japan's forests without ever worrying about safety. Provided I don't enter bear territory! ^^ I would never walk alone in South Africa's forests - not because I'm scared of wild animals, but because I fear humans.

    So to Japan and its people: thank you. Very, very, very much.

  11. 新緑となる新芽、幼い小鹿、黄色い帽子の児童、すべてが明日への希望で溢れていますね。私達も日々を新しいスタートととらえて成長していきたいです。素晴らしい言葉を紹介頂きありがとうございます。

  12. Hello Keiko, The light and shadow of the forest highlight the multitudes of greens. Though you walked within the boundaries of a limited space, your imagination and creative eye were set free finding that "in every wood in every spring there is  a different green." Your post reminds me to look closely.

  13. What beautiful photographs and such an inspiring places. I would love to visit Japan one day and these images have made me want to even more, lovely.

  14. Jenny,
    This is the first time to see the baby maples growing on the roof. Not a few but so many. I do not think the roof will be able to nurture them.

    I am glad you like it.

    For me, to meet this Tolkien's words is also "one time one meeting". I'll cherish this meeting.

    Yes, here is one of the most soothing places for me.

    While climbing up and down, I met the students on school excursion. Except them, I had scarcely seen anybody.
    I understand very well, Humans are the worst animals, but they can be most cruel as well as most merciful.

  15. Anzuさん、

    For only short time, we can see these great shades of young green in spring. Next spring, I will go back again to look for more green.

    In spring and autumn, Nara looks more beautiful. I hope you will visit Nara and see what I appreciate someday.

  16. Your descriptions of being in the forest and the colours are extraordinary. What a wonderful place you have taken us to. Thank you,

  17. Beautiful photos of a wonderful place to heal the spirit. No doubt these delicious shades of green resurrect the soul.

  18. I enjoyed your post on wisteria. It is such a delicate flower and your photos showed it. We went to a Japanese garden in Brooklyn, New York last week and I thought about the beautiful gardens you show us. I’ll have a post on it in the future. It is true in spring there is a multitude of green colors. The forest you showed us must be so peaceful in addition to being beautiful.

  19. 短い春から初夏の間に、この時期にしか味わえないさまざまな緑色がありますね。緑のトンネルを抜け、木漏れ日と森のエッセンスにに洗われながら歩いているとき、ふと上をみると、今いる場所を忘れてしまい、湖の底から眺めているような気もします。春日の森に住む鹿たちも取り込んで、奈良らしい新緑への素晴らしいポストです。私も新緑への思いをポストしたくなりました。

  20. 私も奈良公園の緑の中を歩くとマイナスイオン浴ができリラックスできます。運転中に奈良ホテル前の道あたりで緑のトンネルを感じキョロキョロしてしまい危ない事です。

  21. Hello Keiko!
    What a wonderful feast of green.I love this time when a multitude of greens are bursting forth.Looks like the decent is much easier than the ascent. I think that taking photos helps us to notice details which may otherwise be overlooked......such as maple saplings and poppy buds!Thanks for sharing your observation.As an artist I consider myself observant,but I'm constantly surprised by "new" finds.
    Sorry about absence of comments,I've been away from my blog for a couple of weeks.

    Enjoy your week,

  22. こんばんは。新緑はとても素敵です。自然のままの森が近くにあるのは素晴らしいですね。
     このブログとは関係ないのですが、何故か業平の「春日野は 今日はな焼きそ 若草の つまもこもれり 我もこもれり」を思い出してしまいます。

  23. ¸.•°`♥✿⊱╮
    Que lugar lindo!... relaxante para o corpo e para a alma.
    Bom fim de semana!
    °º °♫♫♪¸.•°`

  24. Dear Keiko,

    thank you very much for your comments on two of my posts.

    Visiting TOYOTA and seeing the "robot ballet" was certainly an amazing experience. Last year I've been to the AUDI production and there you see as well hunderets of industry robots.
    But the future is certainly the interesting field of service (household) robots - and Japan is certainly the leading nation in devepoling these type of robots.
    Let's keep in contact,
    kind regards,

  25. お久しぶりです。

    緑したたる! そんな言葉がぴったりの記事ですね。日本の緑は海外の緑より、なんか濃くて艶やかでかつ深いような気がします。20日の記事の緑も本当にステキでした。ご心配をおかけしましたが、ぼちぼちやっております。

  26. Wow beautiful as always! What a lovely post, thanks for sharing :)

  27. 緑だけでこれだけ豊かな色彩が感じられるのですね。自然てほんとにすばらしいなと思いますね。私も十津川に行ったとき、あふれる緑の中で、何か大きな優しさの中に抱かれているような安らぎを覚えました。

  28. Your photos communicate a respect for nature. I really enjoyed a walk around these beautiful hills, especially at this time of the year. I also feel some unusual emotions when I visit a forest in Canada.

  29. Gillian,
    Thanks a lot for your kind comments.

    This time of year, nature is full of life power because of gorgeous green. I am looking forward to your post of Japanese garden.



    Forest Dream Weaver,
    I agree with you!! I would easily overlook many precious moment without camera. One time one meeting with light, shadow, wind, moment and more.


    Magia da Ines,
    Thanks a lot for your kind comment.
    You too!

    you-wee because,
    I love the expression "robot ballet"!! Yes, let's keep in contact!

    ”緑したたる”、なんとすばらしい言葉でしょう! この頃の緑の美しさを余すことなく伝えているようです。

    Thanks a lot for your kind comment.


    While walking through forests, I feel soothing, being recharged, energized!

  30. hi, awesome pictures :)
    i got something for you in my blog :)

  31. Hello, keiko!
    Maybe Tolkien's words "In every wood in every spring there is a different green" are a suggestion to live life with more awareness? We humans tend to see all other living things and creatures in compact categories - trees, bears, ants etc. - while in fact, individually they're just as different as we are. They come to this world, live life year by year, changing shades of green just as we change appearance with old age coming, and eventually die.
    Retrospecting to a group of individuals can be difficult, but when put face to face with another it's impossible not to establish a relationship. And when in a relationship it's infinitely harder to cut, chop, destroy, kill, poison... I'm thinking that when more of us will start seeing everything around as our equals, there's a chance to stop harming the earth and live, again, in harmony and understanding.
    The charming cafe in your beautiful picture it's like a reminder of that long lost humbleness humanity used to have...

    May is also my favorite month of the year, along with October, exactly because of the freshness of young shades of green, the abundance of fragrances and the clarity of the air, unsaturated with dust and heat as it usually is during mid summer.
    Mt.Kasuga is very beautiful and I'm happy to hear it's been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's good that it is protected!
    It's also funny how it strongly resemble with some of the Romanian forests I've seen. If not for the stone fence at the road's edge, I could have sworn it's a forest in my country! :)

    Have a good evening and thank you for your warm comments on my blog!

  32. Boa Noite!!!

  33. Roxana,
    I agree with you!! We are human beings and identified as individuals. Other beings are categorized in large groups, like trees, flowers, vegetables, horses, cows and etc. as you said. But, there never exist exactly the same beings with life in nature. Even Glasses or leaves, they are never the same in a shape, color and more. Each of us, each of them has unique characteristics and lives side by side. Thanks a lot! Your comment gave me a deeper understanding of Tolkien's words. Live together with respect for each other. I remember the essence of Shinto, indigenous religion of Japan based on nature worship.

    Akissfromthepast, Magia
    Thanks a lot for your kind comments.

  34. Forêt sacrée : sacrée forêt.

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