On the afternoon of July 26 (Fri.), Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix (Ro Ho En) Executive Director Reiko Yasui visited Murin-an!
Together with Tomoki Kato, the president of Ueyakato Landscape, the designated management company for Murin-an, Ms. Yasui gave a talk in the main house about garden technology and the intent behind Murin-an’s design. After the talk, she took a walk around the garden with us.
Ro Ho En was constructed in 1987 through joint efforts made by Phoenix and Hyogo Prefecture’s Awaji after the two became sister cities in 1976.
For us as well, it is a great pleasure to be able to use the theme of Japanese gardens to connect with the world. We look forward to exchanging more information with Executive Director Yasui in the future!
We gave guided tours of the garden on July 20 and 21 (Sat. & Sun.).
Thanks to the rain that lasted until yesterday, the moist soil gave the plants a richly verdant and varied look.
There were also moments of the tours where we encountered gardeners at work and had them explain what work they were doing.
Participants on Sunday showed an interest in the wildflowers and other plants, so we explained to them about the trees in Murin-an that are connected to Yamagata Aritomo.
On the afternoon of July 21 (Sun.), Ueyakato Landscape president Tomoki Kato gave his second lecture on Japanese gardening history at Kyoto International Community House!
This lecture’s theme began from the Kamakura period (1185-1333), the age of the dry landscape (or karesansui) garden! We learned that the period up until this time had seen the evolution of natural landscape gardens and that gardens change according to each period!
Muso Soseki, the founder of Tenryu-ji Temple, was a Zen monk of the Rinzai school during the early Muromachi period. Through his on-screen presentation, Mr. Kato explained for us the gardens whose creation Muso was involved in and the gardens in Kyoto that bear some connection to him. It was a two-hour session brimming with an abundance of garden knowledge.
Why not try a casual tea ceremony? First-timers are welcome. Our staff provides careful and easy to understand explanations. Come to zaifu at Murin-an. Our entire staff awaits your visit.
We held tea ceremony classes on July 19 and 20 (Fri.& Sat.). These were lesson days spent looking at the garden in rain and the mist rising from Mt. Hiei and the Higashiyama mountains after the rain lifted. Students received the lesson while concentrating on three types of bow and paying attention to the position and angle of their hands. They also enjoyed the step-by-step lesson given on the first floor of the main house to each student on how to prepare for the tea ceremony.
The flowers on the Coral Ardisia blossom with red fruit that seem to surround their trunks in autumn. The white color of the flowers that fall on top of the moss really stands out. The Coral Ardisia trees are the ones in the garden that have grown thin and long with leaves on top. They’re all over the garden; try lowering your line of sight to enjoy looking at their flowers.
Spend a truly Japanese afternoon with appropriately seasonal sweets in a room decorated with seasonal flowers. At Murin-an, you can savor the season’s blessings with all your senses. Tomorrow’s theme is ” Taisho” (大暑), Most Sweltering season in Japan’s 24-season calendar.
Enjoy sitting next to our new flower arrangement in the main house while exploring the delicate taste of wagashi (Japanese sweets) balanced by the pleasantly bitter taste of matcha tea, and also enjoying the soothing view of the garden.
First-come-first-served, there is only a limited availability of tea sweets, which are exclusively created for Murin-an garden.
Date: July, 20 Saturday
Fee: 1000 yen (+Entrance fee. No reservation required)
*limited number /day, first-come-first-served
All our confectionery belong to a limited edition produced exclusively for Murin-an.
To the southwest of the 8-tatami mat space of Murin-an’s main building, there is a slightly elevated mound where a single Chinese Bayberry tree grows. We pruned this tree little by little to preserve it feeling of balance. After clipping some branches, our gardener took a look at the tree to adjust its appearance.
We pruned the Camellia Japonica and Japanese Andromeda.
Here are some pictures of our gardener pruning the area around the garden path leading from the teahouse to the three-step waterfall. He gave a trim to these trees whose flowering periods have ended and whose leaves were growing shaggy. Now you can see the fruit on the Camellia Japonica and Japanese Andromeda peeking out from between their branches. Soft sunlight poured onto the ground, creating a feeling of brightness in the garden.
The Garden Seen as a Whole! Learning How a Garden that is a Nationally Registered Place of Scenic Beauty is Managed and Nurtured
On the afternoon of July 15 (Mon.), we learned about Yamagata Aritomo’s garden vision and the background behind Murin-an’s construction by using documentary materials in the second floor of Murin-an’s main building. In the latter half of the event, we had all our participants experience a little bit of the work that our gardener does at Murin-an.