As I've said in a previous post, I love to travel. And while I have liked almost everywhere I've been to, some places I really, really love. Germany is one of those places, and so is Austria. But most recently, one of those places has been Japan. How I love Japan! And one of the things I love most of all about it is the attention to detail. This appeals both to my own love of detail (I take everything in) and a perhaps slightly less positive trait - a hankering for order. The giant waterlilly pads in a park in Ueno, Tokyo, pictured above are an example of the former. Even amongst the thriving (and I do mean thriving) metropolis of Tokyo, there was this nurturing oasis of green calm. And even in less organised ways, on street corners throughout the city, people had thought to arrange pot plants just so that there were some greenery amongst the concrete jungle.
I watched "Around the World in 80 Gardens" on TV the other night and the host's visit to a Zen garden in Japan and to a Japanese teahouse brought it all back to me. Although I realise it has far more cultural and historical significance than anything I, as a non-Japanese person, could perhaps hope to understand, I have to love a country that devotes a ceremony to drinking tea! The teahouse above - again in Tokyo - was apparently a favourite of the Emperor.