Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Visiting the Jindai Botanical Garden and Jindaiji Temple

Japan is the least ethnically diverse place I've ever visited, but at the same time it is still quite unusual not to see a few other gaijin about on my travels. But this morning I saw not a single one from 9am to 2.30pm. The reason for that is that I was at an attraction that is just far enough from the city centre to deter the tourists despite how beautiful it is.
Jindai Botanical Gardens
Although it was actually really hot and humid as well. That could have been a factor. Again, I was too late for the azaleas but just right for the roses. Having taken pictures of so many last week I took it easy this time.
Jindai Botanical Gardens
Jindai Botanical Gardens
But then there were also Peonies. I am very fond of Peonies.
Peonies
And Rhododendrons...
Rhododendroms
And of course there were the forested areas, including this beautiful stream.
Jindai Botanical Gardens
The sound of the water over these rocks was so idyllic.
Jindai Botanical Gardens
I stayed there for ages listening to them and watching the water. There were some big koi pootling about there too. There were other areas planted with different varieties of maple tree which are at their best in December but still beautiful now.
Jindai Botanical Gardens
Plus another area with different types of bamboo. This one with an extra outer layer was pretty amazing.
Jindai Botanical Gardens
And I almost forgot this:
Jindai Botanical Gardens
Wonderful! And more of the huge koi clustering at the surface.

Next door to the Park is Jindaiji Temple which as a building isn't particularly distinct from any other Temple, but the buildings and other shrines around it are very interesting. There were two that were especially moving. The first, don't laugh, was some kind of pet memorial/cemetery. There were *thousands* of pets being commemorated here.
Visit to Jindaiiji Temple - Pet Cemetary Area
Other cubbyholes had tins of favourite food in them. I was really moved! Outside was another shrine I couldn't get a decent photo of, but to one side were all these origami cranes.
Visit to Jendaiiji Temple - Pet Cemetary Area
I hope whoever made them had their wish fulfilled.

At the Temple, there were these amazing huge flowers at either side of the front entrance.
Visit to Jendaiiji Temple
The fan of straw and Bonsai tree must also have some significance but I have no idea what that could be. The incense burner was quite large and has a special health significance.
Incense at Jendaiiji Temple
I watched for a few minutes and could see people cupping the smoke in their hands and rubbing it on whatever part of their body was ailing them. Finally, there was the saddest part of the whole visit - the shrine to lost children, specifically those lost through stillbirth or miscarriage.
Lost Children Area at Jindaiiji Temple
All the wheels moved slightly when there was a breeze and someone had left a very small pair of children's shoes on the table. The little figures on the right are capped and bibbed in red and represent those children who have been lost. I can't imagine going through something like that but it is heartwarming, even to an atheist like me, that there is somewhere for parents and family to come and pray for them.


3 comments:

jan said...

Thank you Alex for sharing so much of Japan with us! It is so beautiful and the shrines so moving. I love the Bonsai!
xo jan

Little House on the Hill said...

Wow so beautiful. Your travels are so interesting to read about.
Cheers pauline

Heather said...

Thank you for yet another beautiful, eye-opening post. I'm especially enjoying them at present because I'm on bed rest after an infection, and can't even get out into the village. A bit of vicarious travel is just what I need ;))

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