Showing posts with label teahouse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label teahouse. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Yosuien Garden


Yosuien is a large stroll-type garden in the Wakanoura area in the south of Wakayama City.

It is considered one of only two major gardens known as "shioiri", that is to say, the large pond is seawater and fed directly by the sea. The other garden of this type is the Hamarikyu Garden in Tokyo.

The large pond covers about half of the gardens 33,000 square meters.

The most predominant vegetation are the pine trees although there are also some camellias, hydrangeas, and azaleas.

The garden makes good use of the "borrowed scenery" of nearby Mount Tenjin and Mount Takozushi.

A small island in the pond is home to a shrine for Inari and Benten. Reached via a shorter "taikobashi" and an unusual longer bridge with three arches.

The garden reminded me somewhat of Ohori Park in Fukuoka, which is unsurprising as both Ohori Park and Yosuien Garden are modeled on the classic West Lake in China.

The garden was built between 1818 and 1826 by Tokugawa Harutaka, the 10th lord of Kishu Domain.

It was used as a retreat by the daimyo and to entertain guests.

The oldest teahouse in Wakayama, Yosui-tei, built in 1821,  comprises 19 rooms and includes the jissaien tearoom for tea ceremonies.

Yosuien is somewhat unusual and well worth a visit, especially with the other attractions nearby like Tenmangu Shrine, Toshogu Shrine, and Kiimidera Temple.

The garden is open every day of the year. Inquire in advance for tours of Yosuitei Teahouse. The garden entry fee includes entrance to the Minato Goten palace.

Relocated to within the garden from its original site, Minato Goten Palace was the previous post in this series on Wakayama.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Meimei-an Teahouse Gardens


A Teahouse Garden, called roji or chatei, differs from the other two main types of Japanese garden, the karesansui, dry garden, often called zen garden, and the chisen-teien, or pond garden, and of course shares some features with them.

The Teahouse is meant to represent a rustic mountain hut, and the roji is what is passed through to reach the teahouse and therefore is the first part of the tea ceremony itself.

These photos are from Meimei-an, a  traditional teahouse in Matsue associated with the great Tea Master Fumai Matsudaira.

A fundamental feature of the roji will be the stones that make up the path to the teahouse. Tobiishi are stepping stones, and Nobedan, sometimes called tatami-ishi, are paving stones.

The path will pass by a Tsukubai, a washbasin where the visitor will purify themselves. Usually there will be a lantern behind the tsukubai.

All of the different stones arranged around the tsukubai have different names and functions.

These last two photos are of the garden of the Akayama Tea Ceremony Hall, open to the public where visitors can enjoy a cup of matcha with traditional sweets while enjoying the view of the Meimei-an Teahouse

Friday, June 30, 2023

Meimei-an Teahouse


Meimei-an is an Edo Period teahouse in Matsue, Shimane, with connections to Matsudaira Fumai, the famous Tea Ceremony Master who was Daimyo of the Matsue Domain and whose castle can be seen from the teahouse.

It was built in 1779 and originally stood nearby in the grounds of the Arisawa Family, high-ranking vassals of the domain. Fumai was instrumental in bringing Tea Ceremony culture to his domain and vassals and he was a frequent visitor to Meimei-an.

It was dismantled and rebuilt in Tokyo in the Meiji Period but later came back to Matsue where it moved several times before its current location where it was restored in 1966.

It is the type of teahouse styled after a rustic mountain hut that was popularized by the great Tea Master Sen no Rikyu.

It is not possible to enter Meimei-an, but can be looked into through open doors and screens.

Immediately adjacent to Meomei-an is the Akayama Tea Ceremony Hall used as a site for various Tea Ceremony groups but also open to the public and where you can have a green tea with sweets while enjoying the view of Meimei-an.

I will cover the gardens around Meimei-an in the next post. Fumai Matsudaira made Matsue one of the three main tea ceremony centres of Japan and there are numerous other sites around the town connected to him and the tea ceremony.

In the nearby Matsue History Museum is a reconstruction of another Teahouse favored by Fumai as well as displays on him and the tea ceremony. Not far from the castle is Gesshoji Temple, the Matsudaira family temple where they were buried. It also has a collection of historic tea ceremony utensils owned by Fumai, as well as one of his favorite gardens.

The previous post in this series exploring Matsue was the samurai mansion just below Meimei-an.

The next post is on the roji, the garden of the teahouse.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Tenno-in Temple 36 Sasaguri Pilgrimage


Tenno-in, number 36 on the 88 temple Sasaguri Pilgrimage, like its counterpart on Shikoku, Shoryuji Trmple, enshrines Fudo Myoo.

Specifically, the honzon is a Namikiri Fudo, a "wave^cutting" Fudo. According to the legend, on his return journey from China in 806,  the boat Kobo Daishi was in was in danger of being sunk by stormy seas but was saved by prayers to Fudo.

The main Fudo statue in the main hall is "hidden" but, as with most of these Sasaguri temples, numerous Fudo statues can be found around the grounds.

Tenno-in is a sub-temple of Nomiyama Kannonji, a large complex of temples and sub temples including Gokurakuojoin and an unrelated temple Mizuko Monjuin, located high in the mountains to the north of Sasaguri.

Tenno-in has some large buildings, including a guesthouse. It is said that the main hall is the largest main hall of all 88 temples on the pilgrimage. It was built in 1973. The origunal Tenno-in was at Koyasan but had been demolished and inactive since the late 19th century.

Tenno-in has a large Hydrangea Garden and the grounds are planted with lots of Japanese Maple so is ablaze with color in the autumn. It also has a small zen garden and teahouse.

From here the pilgrimage route heads down the mountains following a different route than the one taken on the ascent. The previous post in this series was Gokurakuojoin Temple.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Kajimura Residence Tsuyama


The former Kajimura Residence in the Joto Historic District along the Izumo Kaido in Tsuyama is now known as Joto Mukashi Machiya which basically means "Joto Old Townhouse".

It is open to the public for free as a kind of local history museum.

The original structure dates back to the Edo Period but some of the other buildings were built in subsequent times up to the 20th century.

The storehouses have been turned into museums with typical glass cases displaying historic artifacts.

The garden is quite large and includes two teahouses, one of which can be looked into.

The wealthy merchant family who lived here operated a kind of bank. According to the class system, samurai were at the top, and merchants were at the bottom, below farmers and artisans.

However, as the Edo Period progressed many samurai became poorer and poorer and merchants became wealthy, and in return for financially supporting the samurai were given marks of status reserved technically only for the samurai.

The garden is also recognized nationally, and combined with the teahouse makes this traditional property well worth a visit.

The previous post in this series on Tsuyama while walking the Chugoku Kannon Pilgrimage was  the Joto Preservation District.