Swanica explores Japan

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Last year, I went to this national historic site: the Meigetsu-in. This temple is especially known because of the Hydrangea flowers. But then I was too late and they had already trimmed all the flowers.
Now I was here in Kamakura and it is an overwhelming sea of Hydrangeas: so beautiful!
How powerful a flower can be!

The Hydrangea is a symbol of expressing love, gratitude, and enlightenment. It is said that the observer can easily get lost in it's abundance of beautiful petals, and thus gets lost in one's own thoughts – propitiating higher thought and reaching enlightenment. Due to it's versatility, and beauty, the hydrangea makes an excellent thank you gift.

The main stairs toward the temple.

More Hydrangreas along some other stairs.

The Meigetsu-in was founded in the year 1160 as a burial place. In 1256, this site was chosen for the construction of a Buddhist temple, which, through the centuries, endured some changes, but belongs now to the Kenchoji Branch of the the Rinzai Zen Sect.

The rock garden of the temple with stil the blooming Azaleas. The garden expresses the Buddhist view of the world.

Then, you can have a look through the temple to the back garden filled with Irisses.

This is a view from the other side. And you can look through the circle of the temple room at the rock garden.
Again, what a beautiful garden. We had a nice stroll in between the Irisses.

In Greek mythology, Iris is the messenger of the gods who, cloaked in a robe of dewdrops reflecting the stars, communicates messages via the rainbow, the bridge between heaven and earth. Thus iris is the symbol of communication and the name itself means "rainbow".


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