Update June 2020: Get your copy of 'The Tiniest Garden' shipped to your home: https://etsy.me/3epJNyY If you prefer a paper to print-out, get your copy from my etsy store here: https://etsy.me/3epJNyY If you prefer a paper to print-out, get your copy from my etsy store here: https://etsy.me/3epJNyY If you prefer a paper … Continue reading The Tiniest Garden – A Mini Comic in the Making
This feels like a real journey, like real travelling. It is a journey, a path and I don't know what to expect. All I can do is take the next step. And another one.
When I left the temple, I saw a lot of Japanese roof tiles (kawara 瓦), ornamental end pieces and ogre tiles called onigawara (鬼瓦) arranged on the ground under a tree. The temple just underwent major restoration work and the tiles were probably stored/exhibited there. The first thing that caught my eye was a row … Continue reading Onigawara – Japanese roof tiles at Toji-in temple in Kyoto
The first thing you see when after you take off your shoes at Toji-in temple is a huge daruma painting at the end of a long wooden corridor. The comical rendition of a seemingly grumpy Bhodidharma, with eyes wide open, surprises and and reliefs some of the heavy, solemn atmosphere one expects when entering a … Continue reading Grumpy Dumpty – Daruma paintings at Toji-in (等持院) in Kyoto
Japanese work days start early - very early. By 7:15 usually all the trucks have left the company and are on the way to the genba (現場 - another word that is not easily translated - it means scene, site, the place where stuff happens - in other terms: construction site for gardens). I arrived … Continue reading Day 1 – Texture
After you returned from a vacation, have you ever let your packed suitcase sit for a few days? I do that all the time. I do it so I can enjoy the lingering fragrance of a foreign country a bit longer. If I just unpacked the suitcase immediately, it would feel as if the journey never happened, … Continue reading Day Zero – The Kyoto adventure begins (with the help of time travel)
I spent the last weekend in Napa Valley, probably America's most famous wine region. We met some wine enthusiasts, and they mentioned the documentary SOMM. It is about a group of four professional sommeliers who prepare for "the hardest test you've never heard of" to earn the Master Sommelier diploma, the highest ranking certificate a wine … Continue reading Dedication, Obession – what I learnt from SOMM
Japanese gardeners and craftsmen take special pride in (and extra care of) their tools - and I begin to understand why.
I have returned safely to San Francisco and settled back in to my so-called normal life. To continue my Japanese garden training here, I volunteer at the Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, the oldest Japanese garden & estate in the western hemisphere.