Day 39 – Omikuji (おみくじ)

Many Japanese shrines sell Omikuji oracles for 100 or 200 yen. If you get one that promises you "Big luck" (大吉) or you feel that the explanation fits your situation, you usually take it home. If you find that it doesn't fit or you rather not want it in your life, you fold it, tie … Continue reading Day 39 – Omikuji (おみくじ)

Guess who was allowed to draw the gravel patterns in the Hojo garden today?

Day 37 – A dream comes true –

  Putting in extra hours after work to make a dream come true: Will probably build a small tsuboniwa garden (190x220cm) for my favorite Kyoto restaurant Mamezen with a colleague and a friend of his. Here are some ideas from the on-site visit yesterday:

Day 32 – Saying goodbye to our head gardener in Kyoto

Our head gardener of Kodai-ji is leaving for a project in South Africa which will take several months to complete. This is our goodbye, I am not sure I will see him again. Within only a few weeks he has taught me so much - not only about Japanese gardens and building stuff, but also … Continue reading Day 32 – Saying goodbye to our head gardener in Kyoto

Day 27 – Wood treatment with Kakishibu for an itabei fence (板塀)

We painted the framework for the new itabei fence with kakishibu this morning. This is what it looks like diluted - a reddish brown: An this is what the framework looks like after the  kakishibu treatment:      

Day 27 – The Hojo garden of Kodai-ji temple in Kyoto (方丈前庭)

Freshly watered in front of a huge audience by yours truly.

Day 26 – I can make it rain

Watering the garden in the setting sun

Day 20 – Some-Nawa: Dirty fingers are gardeners pride

I repaired a very very simple bamboo fence today. It took forever and I am not satisfied with the result. As you can see, the nail split the bamboo in one place (there is a nail under the knot). I will repair it tomorrow. BUT I am happy I was allowed to do it (all … Continue reading Day 20 – Some-Nawa: Dirty fingers are gardeners pride

Day 18 – Look who said hello today

I was digging out a bamboo shoot (take-no-ko, 竹の子) this evening and woke up the larva of a rhinoceros beetle (kabuto-mushi, カブト虫). You have to know that they are big, really big. The diameter is probably wider than 1 centimeter. I was a little surprised when I saw it. Sazaki-kun told me that I shouldn't touch … Continue reading Day 18 – Look who said hello today

Day 16 – The power of Mu (無) – Just do. Chop. Chop. Chop.

After lunch I was asked to use a nata (鉈), a wide blade knife or axe to cut of the edges of small, thin bamboo sticks. We want to use them as markers. I had tried it before, and although it looks easy, I found it really hard to get used to the axe and couldn't … Continue reading Day 16 – The power of Mu (無) – Just do. Chop. Chop. Chop.