Temple in Hydrangea and Temple in Beauty of Wabi

 Yata Temple
Main temple  of Yata Temple

I had a good chance to visit a temple of hydrangea(Yata Temple )just after the rain.
Yata temple is famous for hydrangea. About 8000 hydrangeas entertain us. They were at their best time in the valley of the temple. It took us about 30 minutes  walk around there.  Thousands kind of blue, purple,red , pink  appeared vividly in the " valley of hydrangea"
After leaving our car, We had  to climb up a lot of staircase to the temple and we prayed " Jizo- Bosatu"at a main temple. This temple is dedicated to Jizo- Bodhissattva. Many jizo statues( Ojizosama) were placed in the temple.

many Ojizosama are placed inside temple

Ojizosama stand on the edge of cyozu-bachi  beside corridor

Hydrangea HydrangeaHydrangea

What color  are you turning with light and water together from babypink?

People admires splendor and stops to take photos. We can't go ahead soon because of narrow rainy path.  But nobody complain. Everyone are willing to wait.  Flowers make us gently.

We call here Valley of hydrangea. Beautiful hydrangea were filled over the wall of valley.

This temple joins "Yamato 13 Buddh Sacred Places" ,which  means a group of 13 temples in Nara prefecture that enshrines Buddha or Bodhisattva etc. The association of 13 temples suggests to pray those Buddhas to respect our ancestors or fulfill our wishes and give a mount that we get a vermail seal as proof of visiting.  So we got  vermeil seal of this temple and will visit the other 12 temples. But when will we finish to visit all? Because we started visiting of "Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage" (  88 temples in Shikoku where are sacred place of Kobo-Daisi) 8 years ago but we don't finish visiting all, though we visited  about one third.

We had "Shojin Ryori"(cooking used vegitables not meat, fish etc) called "Ajisai Gozen"( Ajisai means hydrangea and gozen means cooking) for lunch inside the temple. It's a usual Shojin Ryori like Tenpura of vegetable ,Gomadofu,Takenoko boiled and seasoned etc. Foe me, Fu (a breadlike food made of wheat) boiled down in sweetened soy tasted good.


Thank you for marvelous color!

Jikoin Temple

On the way back home, we dropped at Jikoin Temple. It's very near Yata Temple.  When I entered into the entrance, even I felt  beauty of this temple's simpleness, plain, neatness and it didn't seem to be usual temple.

Garden from a drawing room.  A well-kept garden

This garden borrows a view of Yamato plain behind. I think there were not buildings behind before. We had a cup of tea  and sweets  in the shape of heraldry of the Katagiri  on the red carpet . A cool wind came from Yamato plain to us. Very comfortable. Moon Viewing is hold here on the night of the harvest moon of Autumn.
 According to a guide paper, Sekishu Katagiri( feudal lord of this area) built it for family temple in 16 century. He engaged a high priest of Daitokuji Temple in Kyoto as a ahead of the family temple. He received Zen Buddism and Tea Ceremony from the priest and put his "Beauty of Wabi" theory into practice.

So this temple had taste of tea ceremony, such as approach from entrance, garden, tea room, gate etc.
That is to say, my first impression  that this temple is neat was correct, though everyone can feel it.

Temple Gate . It's thatched roof.

Approach from the outside gate. The stony road was spattered with water or rain. I felt it water to entertain guests.


My spring trip in Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg

I have been thinking Holland has only tulip and rural area. But it's obviously wrong. That culture was highly advanced. For example, Gogh, Rembrant, Vermeer and Concertgebouw, etc.  I like Gogh's works. They are painted by short lines, not dots. So I feel strength ,passion on them. Also I like bright paintings in his French years. One of famous "Sunflower" here was weak impression than I expected. I have seen the other "Sunflower"  in Tokyo that a insurance company  bought before. It was painted by heaping up much amount of paints, especially the core of a sunflower. I felt it grotesque. It's painted one or two years before he killed himself.

"Cafe Terras aan Het Place du Forum" by Gogh at Rijksmuseum Kroler -Muller
 We could listen Dovolzak etc by Royal Concertgebow Orchestra at Concertgebow hall where has outstanding sound facility. Our seats were at the first row on the stage, just behind a horn player and side of timpani. So I felt as if I was a member of the orchestra.We could see that the conductor's eyes ( his name is Herbert Blomstedt and he is the honorary conductor in NHK philharmonic orchestra of Japan) become strictly or gently. When he signed to the  players ahead of us to do something,I astonished. It seemed as if he signed it to us. I could see the sheet of music of a horn player from just behind and could know the place on it he was playing. Also I could hear clearly those part that each instrument cover in the tune. So I was so excited. Thanks to it, I got to like Dovolzak symphony No.7 they played. Also they played "Tapiola" by Sibelius and "Nielsen's Flute Concerto" with Emily Beynon( when she comes to Japan she coaches for flute players). Her performance was vigorous. The ticket was 51.50euro over Internet. It's  worth much.
During intermission, we had a drink among tall people. They all were about 20 or 30 centimeters taller than I.
I have heard  average height of the Dutch is the tallest in the world. That's true.

before the performance

Concertgebouw--there was a harp on the roof

Bicycles are used on commuting. In Amsterdam, there were roads for bicycle,car,tram and walk. As they mix, it's dangerous for a careless foreigner like me. Almost those bicycle commuters  run with terrible speed in town.

a road and a bridge is going up---this is a bascule bridge. When a big ship pass through under a bridge, the bridge is open and close.

And thousands of canals are in all directions, canal buses  ply. I didn't know there were so many canals in Amsterdam. Canals taught me again that the land of the Holland is low. When we went though under a bridge at dusk by a canal buss, I saw silhouette of many bicycles and lovers on a bridge in the sunset, and I felt usual daily life of this town.

from a canal bus

canal of Amsterdam

commuters on the bicycle
 When we walked around a downtown near Dam plaza to look for the restaurant at about 7:00PM, but it's daylight yet ,we came across a coffee shop. This shop is not a usual cafe, but a drug store. Soft drug is legitimacy in this country. I heard that if we enter into the shop, drug's smell stick our closes and we may be stopped at a airport. So I glanced inside the shop from the open door. It's like a small bar. As a man behind at  the counter stared to me, we  left soon.

And we found the restaurant at last and ate some white asparagus that harvest is just now and herring Duch like very much. White asparagus were boiled quickly and they were crisp and tasty. I have eaten canned white asparagus but taste was different.  Also the raw herring were put on the tiny cube red  beet that are spread on the things like canape. Taste was average for me.

white asparagus

raw herrings

Tulip climax are limited in this season.----Het Keukenhof.
The park is so large. It takes for 20 minutes from side to side of the park by quick walk. Many kind of color or shape tulip are planted among pale green trees or streams. They continued and we were overpowered with beauty of the scene. Also magnificent tulip field like a large carpet expanded outside the park.

Het Keukenhof---visitors from all over the world are coming.

outside of the park---tulip fields expands

World heritage site-----Kinderdijk
Windmills were lining on the bank along the canals. Land here is lower than sea level so I felt water and land occupy on a fifty-fifty basis,and blue of water and sky was bright and spacious. This  became one of my favorite view.

Kinderdijk---19 windmills are lining--World heritage Site

Delft pottery
They are usually painted by blue color but there were variations. Indeed I was surprised  because I discovered the same big plate that are decorated  in my house. I got it from the late father-in-law a long ago and I have been thinking it's Spanish plate. As he liked to collect potteries he might have got it here.
Speaking to encounter, we accidentally met husband's friend and his wife at St.Baafskathedraal (cathedral) in Gent, Belgium.They are living in Nara city but I've never met them in Nara.

Delft pottery in my house

In Belgium, chocolate,beer, blue mussel etc are delicious. The combination of guild houses and canals were very beautiful in Brugge or Gent.
Fortress-Luxembourg city

Villeroy &Boch--in Luxembourge

flower market of Aalsmeer

Amsterdam station under construction

Amsterdam from a canal boat

National museum at Amsterdam

Grand Place in Bruxelles

Brugge from a canal boat