Malene displaying the vivid Hydranges

Japanese gardens (optional)

“Optional” because I know gardens are not everyone’s cup of tea but we are in Japan which is famous for its gardens, plus we’ve seen so many amazing and beautiful gardens which would be wrong not to have a section attributed to them. Even the non-hortilovers may find them beautiful too!

Part of the gardens
Glimpse of the gardens behind a temple area

Most of the gardens we visit are grounds around temples or castles, the one below was recently re-established behind Kanazawa castle, would you blame me if I said it needed a few garden gnomes.

Unreal looking
Unreal looking

These willows have such a painting by Monet look, they were my favorite even though very simple.

Real life Monet
Real life Monet

Rocks and sand as you know form a big part of a “J” garden. I for one am not totally convinced by the sand sculptures we saw in this temple below. It looks like they have improved on the material they use and it’s not as fragile as originally was. Have they added a little cement to the mix? Considered one of Japans most beautiful gardens.

The gravel just looks a little to set to be convinced
The gravel just looks a little to set to be convincing
More to my liking
More to my liking

The other truth is that we’ve taken so many photos that we just need to do something with. I have selected some of the best for the blog as you can see. Our new camera has a setting that enables you to set the colours to match what you see in real life before you take a photo rather than the camera adjusting things the way it wants to. So all the colors and tones in the photos are as close to real, as we saw it, as possible.


Moss and water make it a fairytale setting
Moss and water make it a farytale setting

The Japanese have the perfect weather and love including moss into their landscapes. In my eyes it fits in with everything I understand about Japan. They love miniaturising things and many of their most beautiful gardens are indeed miniature versions of bigger landscapes. Which also fits in with the whole idea of bonsai trees and transistor radios, for those who remember. So moss, small trees, little streams and naturally sculptured rocks make for the perfect mini landscape.

Interesting creatures spotted in the gardens
Interesting creatures spotted in the gardens

I mentioned moss – for the moss lovers here are a couple of teasers! Unfortunately we were not allowed to walk or roll on it.

Warm moist conditions are ideal for natures carpet.
Warm moist conditions are ideal for nature’s carpet

Summer rain is the norm in June and July but the sun does appear every few days – here is proof.

Kyoto sky

Kyoto dates back to Japan’s early history when it was the capital before the title was taken by Tokyo, so it’s no surprise that it has some of the best examples of gardens in the country. We visited Ginkakuji and Tenryuji temples over two days and couldn’t help but empty an entire camera on these magnificent and oldest gardens in Japan.

Hidden in the trees, the old temple
Hiding amongst the trees, the old temple

We started with the bamboo grove –

The calming effect that the forest had was quite a surprise
The calming effect that the forest had was quite a surprise
Bamboo magic
Bamboo magic

Hi there again.

Your tour guide
Your tour guide

Haha there is no escaping your tour guide… Once we left the bamboo we entered the old garden where the lay-out supposedly hasn’t changed since the 14th century. It seemed to have a look that was old and very much reflected nature in a microcosm.

Not my back yard
Not my back yard

And a few close ups for garden die-hards:

Just looks  natural
Just looks natural
Maple and pine
Maple and pine

Guards at the temple gate, looks like a roof tile has come loose and got them really rattled.

Rattled guards



  1. Liam says:

    Looks like you guys are having an awesome time. The spots you’ve been to look breath-taking, hope you’re making the most of the food!!!

    • Hi Liam
      How nice to hear from you! How is Melbourne? And uni?? Glad you’ve found time to check the blog. We are definitely having a great time and loving the food – although Nick’s tummy less so :-(. There are so many unknown cakes, desserts, dishes that I wish I could just start at one end and try them all…
      Take care and really hope all is good with you

      • Liam says:

        Melbourne is fantastic and uni is even better! Great to hear, make the most of it! You’re on holidays, there’s no such thing as overeating 😉

  2. Joan says:

    Love the gardens, landscapes and rocks! I remember the magic of the bamboos in Sumatra, ‘singing’ as they swayed against each other in the breeze. (Who needs gnomes with the tour guide you have?) Love, Joan xx

  3. Elizabeth and co says:

    Gorgeous photos. Nice work with the new camera!
    From a fellow moss-willow-bamboo-lover in sandy-Perth-purgatory..

    • Hi Eliz
      Thanks mos-willow-bamboo girl!! In Japan many women carry an umbrella against the sun and wear pull-on sleeves. Maybe you can start a similar fashion in Perth :-). And check out the latest blog for Busan beach wear…
      Take care
      Malene and Nick

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