This is the bimonthly information program of Murin-an Garden.
It provides information on Japanese gardens, invitations to events that help foster the garden and seasonal highlights.
The name of this bimonthly is Sara-Sara News.
What does “sara-sara” mean? In Japanese, this word is used to evoke a gentle rustle or murmuring sound in nature. We have adopted it from a passage in a poem by Yamagata Aritomo, Murin-an’s original owner. It reads
At the end of a water stream/That murmurs gently as it travels hidden beneath the shade of trees/I see a fish leap
We chose this publication’s title to reflect our hope that, like the ceaseless flow of the murmuring brook flowing around Murin-an, the encounters here will produce a current toward nurturing Japanese gardens for the future.
Kyoto in February, when the cold is fiercer than any other time of year. It’s not just the chill that comes in the morning and night; even the cold of daytime takes a toll on the body. When snow falls, we wait for it to melt, and when the weather is clear, then we prune the garden’s needle-leaved trees under a perfectly blue sky. Murin-an has many needle-leaved trees, such as yew plum pines, firs, cedars and cypresses, that are mainly planted along its perimeter. Original owner Yamagata Aritomo specifically ordered 50 fir trees planted, and since we know from documentary sources what discriminating tastes he had when it came to trees, our management approach takes his wishes into account. Although the numbers of these trees have diminished today, the ones that have continued growing are now big trees over 10m high. For the needle-leaved trees planted inside the garden, we alternate between using clippers and saws to maintain each tree’s original natural form. The arrival of spring and the season of sprouting buds is just around the corner. Let’s meet at Murin-an, where day by day the look of the garden is changing from winter to spring.
Being able to talk about Japanese gardens is so cool. That’s because they have condensed in them all the points you need to talk about Japanese culture. For example, things like borrowed scenery and the spatial design of depth using elevation difference. Or using the thickness and thinness of pruning to create a broader feeling of space, and constructing spaces not from ideas on a ground plan, but on a human scale using the eye level of the people actually standing in the garden.
When you come to Murin-an, you can hear a free 10-minute explanation of how to appreciate a garden. Just inquire at the ticket counter.
Using the garden unfolding before your very eyes, Murin-an, we explain key points that can also be used when enjoying other Japanese gardens. This is your chance to learn and become able to discuss Japanese gardens! In the next room, we also have a café with a 180-degree view of the garden. What’s a garden? It is change itself. On a clear day, a snowy day, or especially on a rainy day. Compare these changes to one another, and make them your own. And on the 28th of every month, entry is free for everyone age 35 or younger. Come on over.
●Every day and for irregular events ●English language explanations offered every Monday and Friday, 1:00-5:00 PM (subject to sudden cancellation) ●No reservations necessary ●Fee: Free (separate entry fee is required)
●Place: Main House, first floor, in the 8-tatami mat space
Every Tuesday, we put on a kettle for a casual tea ceremony. 1,000 yen. As the article on our 10-minute explanations of Murin-an said, a garden is a series of changes. Or rather, it might be better to say that a garden is change itself. The quickest way to feel this is by “taking some time to look.” Before you pass someplace by, stop. You can always feel how the sun rays change at each moment or how swiftly the look of the stream and borrowed scenery is changing. It’s more dramatic than you can imagine. Even our staff is surprised by it every day. Look at those changes by stopping for a casual tea ceremony. That’s the idea behind this project. Feel free to drop in.
●Every Tuesday, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM ●No reservations necessary.
●Fee: 1,000 yen (separate entry fee required) ●Place: Main House, first floor