Ueyakato Landscape and nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty Murin-an (managed by Ueyakato Landscape) cooperated in the production of “Ogawa Jihei Gardens: Beauty Soothes and Nourishes the Soul,” broadcast October 1 on Core Kyoto, an NHK World JAPAN program that communicates Kyoto’s allure to the world. We introduced how we read from existing documents the feelings of original owner Yamagata Aritomo and garden creator Ogawa Jihei VII for this garden and apply them to how we care for the garden and our efforts to promote use of the garden in ways that connect garden culture from the present to the future. The program can be enjoyed online until March 31, 2023.
Japanese Gardens in Kyoto, a website administered by the Kyoto City Greenery Association, has published an article entry for Murin-an! This website contributes to the spread of green culture by introducing Japanese and overseas audiences to the magnetic allure of the gardens of Kyoto. For a complete introduction to Murin-an’s history and present-day management, be sure to check this article out. There are also plenty of beautiful pictures to give you a full preview of Murin-an’s many highlights.
Thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation with respect to Murin-an’s operation.
In response to the decision reached by the 10th meeting of the Kyoto City COVID-19 Response Task Force, Murin-an will be opening for reserved events starting on May 22, 2020 (Fri.)
(reservations will be accepted on our website starting on May 19 (Tues) from noon).
Rental use of Murin-an’s facilities is canceled for the duration of May.
Due to concerns regarding the coronavirus disease, the following Murin-an events have been canceled.
〇Zaifu: Ready to be served – Enjoy a freshly whisked bowl of matcha
〇Murin-an Garden Explained in Plain English
After the rain lifts, the stream around Murin-an’s three-stage waterfall gets oak leaves and dead cedar twigs blown by the wind stuck in it. When large leaves and twigs get tangled in the rocks, little leaves and twigs start to accumulate there. We clean the stream periodically so that its surface can reflect the garden’s scenery like a mirror. On a warm day, you can now also see black snails (kawanina) moving along the surfaces of the rocks.
Ueyakato Landscape recently introduced Professor Dirk Junker of Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences and twelve of his students to 350 years of Japanese gardening history.
Starting from Nanzen-ji Temple’s Sanmon Gate, we first guided them to the Suirokaku Aqueduct. We then showed them around Nanzen-ji Temple‘s abbot hall garden and Murin-an.
Amid mildly cloudy weather, there was both rain and sunshine, and everyone enjoyed seeing the changes in the gardens’ expressions that accompanied the fluctuating weather.
During their three and a half week stay in Japan, these students experienced studying and field trips all over Japan, yet some of them told us “we want to try long-term study in Japan!”
During the morning of February 23 (Sun.), we held a weekend guided garden tour of Murin-an. We explained the kinds of fruit seen in the garden and the uses that they are typically put to, while also discussing Murin-an’s characteristic features and the differences between the garden today as compared to the past. It turned out to be a day where the wind felt chilly, and we thank our guests for enjoying the garden with us until the very end of the tour.
On the afternoon of February 22 (Sat.), participants in this event helped Murin-an’s head gardener take care of the garden’s plants. There was pouring rain in the morning, but it stopped by the time this seminar started, bringing everyone a great sense of relief.
The seminar started indoors with a demonstration of how to prune fir trees and cut their branches to give them a natural look. Everyone took pictures of the gardener while he showed them how to keep a cut wound from looking conspicuous.
After observing how living things in the garden are pruned, participants experienced how to remove bamboo sheath and dead branches by hand when caring for kuma bamboo grass and square bamboo. Because there are many living things on the ground, we were worked carefully as we did our pruning work..
This being a rainy day and the last seminar for this series, we had participants cut off the dead steams of iris flowers. Our head gardener said, “We left these as part of the autumn and winter scenery. But since spring will be visiting soon, let’s cut them.” Thus, we all removed these long stalks with bulbs on one end of them.
Fostering Studies Series no. 4 starts in April! We hope to see you there!
The rocks in Murin-an’s garden come in all sorts of colors. Because muddy water caused by rainfall and algae make them fade, periodically polishing the rocks is one of the tasks of garden care. As our gardeners worked carefully on polishing rocks, starting with ones upstream, Murin-an’s head gardener smiled as he said, “This passes the test.” They wrapped up this watery work amid temperatures that stayed quite chilly even past noon.
During winter, Murin-an’s moss comes apart in several places and the marks where holes are opened in the ground stand out. Torn areas are refilled early in the morning when the garden is cleaned. The culprits behind this moss tearing are wild birds (pale thrushes) that migrate north in spring and cause this condition while they catch worm and scarab beetle larvae. When they return to the continent fully nourished, the task of refilling the moss is finished. But we sure do wish they’d clean up after themselves once they’re done eating.
On the afternoon of February 5 (Wed.), we held a kimono wearing class on the second floor of Murin-an’s main house. At today’s kimono wearing session, we also had some participants who came for a trial lesson who learned how to wrap a sarashi (bleached muslin fabric) around the kimono. After putting on kimonos, we learned about the etiquette of deciding what to wear according to the occasion, one of the basic principles of dressing properly.