Japan, Kyoto – Philsopher’s Path, Food and zen gardens – and an observation of the day about Japanese Gardens

Highlight of the day for me was walking the Philosopher’s Path. If you could imagine the bare trees, which actually have tiny buds, were all bright pink cherry blossoms you will get the idea of how even more fantastic this walk can be – but despite lack of cherry blossoms I still found the stroll along the narrow waterway with views over the city was a charming way to spend 45 minutes – well longer actually because I kept getting distracted by the tiny shops and a few more temples along the way.  Each tree is numbered and photographed each day to help inform the website that let’s people know when the peak blossom period is likely to be. I also did a lot of thinking along the way – it is the kind of place you can let your mind wander – not sure I had many deep philosophical thoughts but maybe there was a flash of insight – but I’ve already forgotten what it was…

The Philosopher’s Path – a perfect walk.


Still eating and seeing gardens – as well. Quite a few of the gardens also have zen themes using carefully arranged sand to help you ponder but by then I had done enough thinking for one day…..

Meditation in sand design and more prosaic local food


TODAY’S OBSERVATION: A garden in Japan is not like a park. You will always be given a path to follow to ensure you see each element of design and get the perfect Fuji moment along the way. I think it is a bit like a play – you really do need to see one in the right order or it loses its purpose. A few more examples from the gardens at Tenryu-ji which uses the concept of “borrowed scenery” using the natural backdrop to enhance the gardens are shown below and just imagine how much more fantastic next week when those bare tress are in full blossom!

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