[ Article 3 ]

Travel Diary & Kyoto

Words by Jeremy Bull
Kyoto Japan.
Kyoto, Japan.
The carefully tended garden at Tenryu-ji temple

January 2024, Kyoto Japan

On arriving at the forecourt of the Tenryu-ji temple, there is a patch of carefully tended garden which is up-kept presumably by members of its congregation. It’s hard to conceive of the slowness required to remove the twigs and debris by hand from this lawn at the Tenryu-ji temple, but its impossible to conceive it commercially. The vibrancy left after the work is done is perhaps temporary but quite profound, a slow shifting of leafy veneer in meditative contemplation, it is both verb and noun, spirited action and measurably outcome.

Looking down at the irregularly laid path at Okochi Sanso Villa, Kyoto.

There is a pathway at the Okochi Sanso Villa in Kyoto that is made of pieces of tile and irregular pieces of stone on their edge. They are laid together and each makes space for the other. I imagined the contemplation from whomever laid them, perhaps it was a very curious process? Each piece yielding to the other, they are very cooperative and each folly isn’t at all hostile to the otherwise ordered arrangement.

Stairs leading to the subfloor at the Shoren-in Temple in Kyoto.

Shoren-in Temple on the edge of Kyoto is a traditionally built timber building elevated above the ground. There are various stairs which lead to its subfloor, like this one cut into the ground. The coarseness of this masonry and its slightly tilted geometry are striking against the precision of the building's carpentry which is sublimely joined. Perhaps two different philosophies, I think the tree grew here in defiance, or in deference to its ancestor's precision!

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