The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers. ~Basho
There are two distinct kinds of temple/shrine goers in Japan. One type believes that if you’ve seen one temple, you’ve seen them all. The other’s credo is that it is impossible to find a temple that doesn’t have something to admire. I’m in the latter category.
There’s an affinity in temples and shrines for splendid gardens, sometimes grand, but often intimate. For the temple addict, the beauty of the natural world is heightened by the artistry of the designed landscape. The garden provides inspiration, while the temple or shrine set on site, provides the opportunity to give thanks. It’s a perfect marriage.
An outdoor café sits in the center of the garden. It’s a perfect place to indulge in a chilly green tea shaved ice or a green tea parfait that helps to cool the summer heat.
When I finally bid goodbye to the hydrangeas, I went to visit the temple. I climbed three sets of very steep stone steps, discovering that this ancient structure was framed with hundreds of regal blooming lotus. What a fine day!