Sunday, December 12, 2010

Zen Garden in Shizuoka's Hotaiji Temple

I always enjoy wandering around Zen Gardens. Trees, stones, ponds...are so creatively and peacefully set, just like making a good cup of tea to serve: Harmony in the cup, in a mood.

In our 2010 Japanese Green Teas Study Tour, we got to visit this Hotaiji Temple, a small temple locates right behind the hotel we were staying in Shizuoka., a few blocks away from the Train Station. This temple was used as accommodation for envoys from Korea and Ryukyu (currently Okinawa) in the Edo Period. It is open to public for viewing their beautiful zen gardens. I was there twice in our short stay. The first time I went with our member, Bob Boewe on 10/28 morning for a short walk while we were waiting for our group to visit Ocha Matsuri. On 10/29, before Josephine and I checked out Hotel, I accompanied her to visit it again. Glad to have these photos in my blog and I can always review them. Don't you feel the Harmony from each photo? In addition to the garden inside, we kind of surprise to see how this old temple not to be interfered amongst the modern buildings. Simply amazing...
I appreciate one of our group members, Lisa Boalt Richardson, has the same interest on this temple... She got more information for me about this historical temple, which is good to have it here for the reference:
Hotaiji is a Buddhism temple. It was buit in 1381.
From 1600-1850 when Joseon missions came from Korea, they stayed at Hotaiji on the way to Tokyo. They were impressed by its beautiful gardens and architectures. Hodaiji used to be a very large temple, but it was completely destroyed by aerial bombing in 1944 and rebuilt later. There are 40 small stone figures to be found in the garden. These are guardian deity for the spirits of dead children who are playing in heaven.