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Trip to Japan [2]
drinking bird
Here are some pictures of Kenrokuen. It is beautiful in all seasons.

Some cherry blossoms

Pine extending over a pond, with 2 busy gardeners in the background

Small tea house

mini "mountain view"

I went on to Matsue, a very pleasant harbor town on the west coast, with a lagoon that is salty or sweet according to the tides. The city is full of bridges little and small. A large old castle looms over it, the largest in Japan after Himeji. I stayed at a wonderful ryokan, the Minamikan. Here are some pictures I took there.

My 12 tatami room, plus entrance, bath, etc.

The view from my window

The ryokan's sand garden, and another bridge, from my window

In Matsue is Lafcadio Hearn's first residence. He is the Western writer who probably did the most to introduce the West to Japan and its culture. He married in Matsue and lived in a small house across the moat from the castle. His garden has been kept as he described it.

The dry corner

the small pond

Near Matsue is the Adachi Museum. You get there by a short train ride, and a shuttle bus takes you to the museum.  It has a collection of modern Japanese artists'works, and is of some interest. However my reason to go was the gardens, which I thought spectacular. I will show some photos in my next post. The I go on to Okayama's Kôrakuen, and last, Kyoto!

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maaa...the view from your ryokan room window looks really inviting about now. *dreams upon looking out that window to take away my troubles*

Geez, you guys needed THAT much room to sleep at? o.o lol Wow, talk about a lot of room there. Enough for one more person, moe? (me) ^_^ j/k That's more room we ever had when we stayed w/3 people as a family at the Noboribetsu Hotel in Hokkaido. =_= You're very lucky to have that much space. Must've cost a fortune then?

LOVE shoji doors. We have that in my parents' house. I should take a pic of my parents' house next time I go. I'll show the japanese garden out front, as well as the house inside. ^_^

Now sand gardens I really appreciate & love so much.♥♥ It's from my father that I appreciate it more than usual, I guess...I don't know. lol My father was always into the traditional Japanese influences w/the culture and so have I since I was a little girl. It's so peaceful and tranquil to look at them. And the elegance of it all...w/a 'zen'-feel to them...so appealing. ^_^

I think I'll move to live in Japan to retire some day. lol

The Matsue ryokan was particularly nice, but of course they come in all types. I have been in similar ones, and also in much smaller and simpler, as well as in minjukus and temple lodgings.

haii...seems very nice there. Again, you're so very lucky to be fortunate enough to have been to various types of ryokans in this way. I only can dream of staying in one of these. lol

Temple lodgings too? o.o Wow, I had no idea one can stay at a temple. I would've loved to stay in these more, I think. How's staying in a temple different from a traditional ryokan?

What's a minijuku? (gomen ne)

Temple lodgings tend to be rather simple, only communal baths for instance. The food is vegetarian, but very good nonetheless. I stayed in temple lodgings at Haguro-san and Koya-san. Actually temples in Japan have accepted travelers for centuries.

A minjuku is a family-run type of ryokan that tends to be small and simple. Facilities are usually shared, and you may eat with the family.

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