The Rain that Shattered the Lotus in Ritsurin Garden, Japan

This post contains 11 photos of beautiful lotus flowers.

We were travelling with the wind.

At the start of our trip, the hurricane Neoguri was ahead of us. We flew over and past the super typhoon.

When we landed at Shikoku, the hurricane has got up with us and was heading further north towards Osaka and Tokyo.CIMG5537

When the hurricane past us by, the weather was unsettled – we had some heavy down pours when we reached the Ritsurin Gardens.CIMG5525

The down pour continued as we walked into the garden. There were still people strolling the gardens while upholding their umbrellas.CIMG5527

I was thinking of taking some beautiful pictures of the lotus. The rain has shattered my dreams – many of the lotus flowers were deformed by the rain.CIMG5529

Many of the flowers have petals pointing downwards to the ground or fallen to the ground – so where have all the good flowers gone?CIMG5530

We could see rain drops trickling down the petals and the stalks.CIMG5533

There was no use of zooming in on the flowers as many of the flowers were not intact.CIMG5535

However, this did not deter me from taking pictures of the flowers – it was a sea of lotus which I have never seen before.CIMG5538

I like the mix of the pink flowers and the green leaves.

The extent of the lotus pads were so extensive that they just filled my lenses.CIMG5528

Yes, we may not have a bright day when flowers bloom and robins sing, but who cares, God has given me  another perspective – a totally different view of the lotus pond, battered lotus which still retained their beautiful colors and together with the buds and the leaves, they were just magnificent.CIMG5531

It was like a sea of flowers.

Who wouldn’t want to have sunny days when everything go smoothly, but I must be grateful that the Lord has allowed me another beautiful day.

The sky did clear up when I walked past the Monet’s Japanese bridge ( only I like to see it that way) and that I did take good photos of the bridge in the garden  which will remain in my mind forever!CIMG5532

Maybe, I will come back another time, another weather!

 

Ritsurin Garden, Shinkoku, Japan

This post contains 10 beautiful pictures of the Ritsurin Garden.

It was raining hard when we reached the garden.

The super typhoon Neoguri has just passed us by, heading towards Osaka and Tokyo.CIMG5534A

The rain was pouring and some of us decided not to walk the garden. For a moment, I hesitated too, as I may be unable to take  pictures in the rain.

But the garden was so attractive that I just couldn’t resist getting into it.CIMG5552

Ritsurin Garden (栗林公園 Ritsurin Kōen, lit. chestnut grove garden) is one of the most famous historical gardens in Japan. The garden is situated in the city of Takamatsu and is considered one of its main attractions.CIMG5572

It is a Daimyo’s garden, a garden that was designated as a special beauty spot in Japan in March 1953.

It is the largest, representative “Kaiyushiki-teien” (landscape garden designated for strolling through).CIMG5549

The garden has many lotus and water lilies, but unfortunately, most of the flowers were deformed by the heavy rain.CIMG5533

The garden contains a tea house, various folk art and craft exhibits (including the Sanuki Folk Craft Museum), as well as various folk art and craft items for sale.CIMG5562

We stopped by the teahouse and had a delightful bowl of green tea with a chest nut cake as dessert.

A tour through the garden generally takes one to two hours. There are various bridges, footpaths and small hills which offer a beautiful view of the garden and the surrounding scenery, most notably Mt. Shiun (紫雲山 Shiun-zan?) at the western border of the garden.CIMG5539

There are many scenes of pines and other trees dripping down to the water- something which I am not tired of photographing.CIMG5564

Have seen many bridges on this trip to Shikoku, this timber arch bridge in the garden is a view not to be missed. Even in the rain, there are tourists standing on the bridge with their umbrellas.CIMG5557

In some locations, we have to cross the streams.

I was happy to step on the flat stepping stones while watching the color pebbles and the water flowing past. They seem more like a work of art to me.CIMG5567

So, this is just another walk in paradise!

 

Lotus at the Ritsurin Garden, Japan

This is a photo taken of the lotus flowers / leaves in the rain.

The rain was pouring when we stepped into the Ritsurin garden.CIMG5532

So, with one hand holding an umbrella, I took photo with my compact camera single handedly!

Hope this will give you some preview of my trip to Shikoku, Japan.

I will cover this garden again in my later posts – I like strolling in Japanese garden – you may also like to peruse my previous post on “Six Attributes garden” which has a discussion on the six principles for a good garden:

https://retireediary.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/six-attributes-garden-kenrokuen-garden-%e5%85%bc%e5%85%ad%e5%9c%92-in-japan/

The Last Days of Autumn in West Lake, China

West Lake is a famous fresh water lake located in the historic and scenic area of Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province in eastern China. Described by Marco Polo as “the finest and most beautiful city in the world, we were keen to witness  the picturesque lake within this finest city. The lake is divided by the causeways of Baidi in the north and Sudi in the west. By the side of the lake, there are numerous temples, pagodas, classical pavilions, landscaped gardens and within the lakes are artificial islands.

It was no longer the season for lotus; the flowers have all withered, leaving the stalks and some leaves. At the background were trees with leaves already turning brown. 

With arched bridges stretching over the water, West Lake is the heart of leisure in Hangzhou. On this rainy day, we strolled over the famous arch bridge which crosses the lake and started walking all four sides of the idyllic lake.

We strolled by the lake side, walked over many stone trestles built over the water and passed by  pavilion after pavilion.

When we were tired from the walk, we took a boat to one of the islands where we have a leisurely stroll around it looking at more pavilions.

Entering into an ancient building, we found it a joy to view through the screen windows of the building. Not only the sight through the window was interesting, we noted the screen itself including the wooden frame around it were artistically carved.

Inside one of the  ancient buildings, we have a good look at the typical furniture of a Chinese study room.

HangZhou, where West Lake is situated, has been among the most important sources
of inspiration for Chinese garden designers, as evidenced by the impact it had on various Chinese classical gardens. We walked past the circular entrance which is so typical of entrances to Chinese gardens.

We found ourselves in the middle of a Chinese garden with”strange rocks” and water flowing as a water feature.

On our previous trips, we have not covered the less famous western edge of the lake which is known as Yangdi. Our walk on the western edge brought us to unknown beauty such as the stone arch bridge below.

Walking further along the western edge, we came across tranquil areas of the lake with perfect reflections in the serene waters.

After hours of walking, we finally reached the northern shore of the lake where many ancient but elegant and graceful buildings are located.

By this time, we were so hungry that we decided that we should try out the Hangzhou cuisine in this local restaurant.

This is the first time we have walked all four sides of the lake, however, we know that this will not be our last trip to West lake and HangZhou. In our mind, we know we will be coming back in another season, another time . . . . . . . . .

PS For related post “Watching Kois in West Lake (Xihu) Hanzhou, China”, please see https://retireediary.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/watching-kois-in-west-lake-xihu-hangzhou-china/