Onigawara – Japanese roof tiles at Toji-in temple in Kyoto

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

Day 1 – Texture

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

Day Zero – The Kyoto adventure begins (with the help of time travel)

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)

Day 89 – Kyoto has a new garden

The last day of my trip. On Sunday night we finished the tsuboniwa at the Mamezen Ramen shop in Kyoto (豆禅). I woke up early this morning to take some pictures of the garden - here is one of them, there are more to come:   Mamezen owner and Yuba-Ramen chef Minoru Yonekawa:   The … Continue reading Day 89 – Kyoto has a new garden

Day 38 – The cutest bamboo fence I have ever seen – Yotsumegaki (よツ目垣)

Everything in Japan has a kawaii version, I guess. This is a miniature version of the popular Yotsume-gaki bamboo fence and it is used to mark a water faucet. I have to add this to our Real Japanese garden e-Book about bamboo fences.

Day 39 – My way to work near Myoshin-ji in Kyoto

My daily 13-minute way to work is one of the best times of the day. The air is fresh from the Arashiyama mountains and Narabi-ga-oka hills, the sun shines friendly on the new day and I am happy to be alive and to learn more to become a better gardener. I pass the Myoshin-ji (妙心寺) temple … Continue reading Day 39 – My way to work near Myoshin-ji in Kyoto

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