Monday, July 17, 2017

The life of the Sacred Lotus flowers

Sacred Lotus, or Nelumbo nucifera, is one of the oldest plants on the earth.
It is said to have adopted water as a habitat about 140-million years ago.

Hokongo-in Temple, of which history starts in 742,
is famous for the lotus flowers in summer.

From the muddy water, Lotuses stretch upward to the sunlight, 
and bloom flowers untainted by the mud.

The flower is ephemeral. Its longevity is only four days.
 Flower bud is very tight and pointy at first .

The first day,
a bud unfurls 3-4 centimeters and then closes maintaining upward pointing bud.

The second day,
the flower bud begins to mature, unfurling into a chalice-like multi-petaled blossom 
with a central head pod.

The third day,
the flower opens to its maximum.

The fourth day,
 the fully opened blossom falls downward, away from the central cupule. 
All the petals drop till noon.
When the petals drop, the central pod enlarges and ripens.

Petals on the verge of falling apart
The leaves are also attractive.
The veins are radiating out from the center to the margins.
The shape  has similar look to the flowers' chalice-like form.
The cylindrical stalks stretching from the bottom of the water high into the air
make aqua forest.

At the Water Garden, there are light, ripples, reflections, shadows, and carps.

Carps look shading themselves from the scorching sun under a water lily pad.

This is a roof-tile displayed in the garden.
The character , swastika, is a symbol of a temple in Japan. 
It is an ancient religious symbol, a sacred and auspicious symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, 
dating back to before the 2nd century BC.

There are so many to see in this temple;
hydrangeas, lilies, mushrooms, and moss...., to name a few.

Though there is no official report of the end of the rainy season,
it has been sizzling, scorching, and sweltering hot.
Today high temperature warning is issued in some regions.
I'll have a summer break in blogging and commenting
after I visit around you.
Wish you a nice, healthy, and fruitful summer.
See you in September.

During the Golden Week in May

Mosaic Monday
Our World Tuesday

Monday, July 3, 2017

Nice things during the rainy season, 2017

Since the start of the rainy season ("tsuyu" in Japanese meaning "apricot rains) in early June,
it has rained little unusually here in Kansai region.
However torrential rains could cause flooding and landslide along the Sea of Japan
and a typhoon is approaching.

Rain is so important for the cultivation of rice which is staple food of Japan.  

From the car window
I like to see the paddies filled with water right after the planting of rice seedlings.

Asuka Village
Sometimes rain can be gentle enough to nourish your soul as well as plants
and sometimes so violent to shutter the roots.

Wild flowers

Chicks of Swallow
During the rainy season, moss becomes lush and beautiful more and more
with other vegetation.

The stone children would be singing in the rain.

The Garden of Sanzen-in Temple

In the lull of the rains, sunshine feels dazzling.
I am reminded of the blueness of the sky.

Birds enjoy puddles.

When no rains, it’s this little boy who makes my garden wet.

He likes to blow soap bubbles.   

Roses gave way to hydrangeas in mid-June in my garden.

All the hydrangeas have gone withered by now.

A hydrangea on blooming
I like the refreshing feel of a rainy day
including the smell of the wet garden, the sound of rain,
and jewels-like raindrops.

Linked to Mosaic Monday

Friday, June 16, 2017

Green reflections at 瑠璃光院 Ruriko-in

Enveloped in rich nature at the foot of Mt. Hiei, 
Ruriko-in shines emerald both inside and outside,
though "ruri" of Ruriko-in means lapis lazuli.

A brook flows around the ground of the temple with rustling sound.

Ruriko-in Temple is a place for quiet contemplation and reflection.
It is also a place of enchanting reflection
as you see the reflecting greenery on the tables in the photo on the top and below.

Greens are reflected on the glittering clean floor, too.

The reflections on glasses, floors, or tables are fluid 
changing subtly according to light
but not so fleeting like the reflections on water.

The mezzanine corridor
Traditional Japanese houses are designed to cope with hot and humid summer.
As you see, the house is raised approximately 50 cm above ground level 
to avoid moisture from the ground and eaves are deep.
In the humid air, you feel like that you are bathed in dripping green shower 
due to the lush green and its reflections on the windowpanes and floors.

The polished wooden floor looks greenish reflecting the garden greenery.
Have a seat to look at.....

The tea room at the ground floor
a moss garden "Ruri no Niwa" meaning lapis lazuri garden ....

other garden things including a nicely displayed roof tile,

....or carp in the pond and reflections on water.

To cope with hot and humid summer, ventilation is more than enough.
The whole structure is almost entirely opened to the free flow of air. 

These are “shoji” windows with translucent white paper 
mounted on the outer side of a wooden lattice. 
Shoji doors, windows, and screens are made by special craftsmen, tategu-ya.
Japanese papers diffuse light and absorb humidity.
The white papers look greenish in the soft diffused light.

Light flickers through leaves outside.
Rainy season set in about a week ago officially.
Since then, however, it has been sunny and breezy so far.

Thirteen-story stone pagoda

Linked to Weekend Reflections

I prefer the rainy season to the intense full summer.
These posts are about why and how I like and enjoy the rainy season of Japan.