Season’s Greetings

Wishing your dreams come true with the coming new year!

A year has passed. How did you end 2021 and what is in your mind for 2022.

For me?……2020 was OK as I was still adjusting myself to the life with Covid-19. I completed a home renovation and created a confortable home office environment. I discovered so adoptable ‘me’ and was proud of myself how I could survive the pandemic.

Last year wasn’t so easy going. I had a mixture of both positive and negative feelings. Hope, disappointment, frustration, lack of stimulus, and feeling stack. I tried out some new things by maximizing a use digital tools and online learning, as I did in 2020. That was good. But lack of human interaction and little opportunities to travel even in the country made me feel suffocated. Particularly, NO travel to abroad.

Despite under the seemingly endless pandemic, where the emergence of next generation coronavirus seems unstoppable, I am still hopeful for this year. It is so pleasure to read messages from my friends suggesting me to meet up in somewhere in the global this year. I send an applause to my friends in Singapore who traveled to South Africa and got restricted to travel back to Singapore for already a couple of weeks. How wonderful to see that they have been enjoying a mountain hike, walking on the beach, gathering around a big table with friends by the ocean. Their posts in facebook teach me that life is about having fun and enjoying.

I started my January 1st with a visit to Peace park in Hiroshima and had a long walk with my brothers who I didn’t see last 2 years. I also had a visit to Golden pavillion (Kinkaku-ji) in the beautiful fine winter day in Kyoto, on my way back to Tokyo. We have been fortunate with beautiful weather throughout the first week of January.

I am fully recharged and filled with happiness. All I can think of now is “What shall I play now?”, just like an innocent child.

May your new year be blessed with love and new adventure.

Visiting “Rikushu-no-matsu (陸舟の松)”

I visited Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto last weekend. Kankaku-ji (The golden pavilion) is one of the most iconic site in Kyoto. Autumn is one of the best season to visit there.  Autumn colour of maple leaves enhance its beauty. The pond surrounding Kinkaku-ji is called Kyokochi pond (鏡湖池, mirror pond) that reflects Kinkaku-ji on its surface.

Kinkakuji with Momiji

There are many articles about Kinkaku-ji available online, so that I don’t write about it here, but would like to touch on “Rikushu-no-matsu (陸舟の松)”.

Rikushu-no-matsu

“Rikushu-no-matsu” is located in the garden of Shoin (Study Hall) at the east side of the Kyokochi pond.

Rikushu-no-matsu-3

The Japanese white pine tree of “Rikushu-no-matsu” was originally from a Bonsai grown and cared by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (足利 義満, Sept 25, 1358 – May 31, 1408), the 3rd shōgun of the Ashikaga shogunate. Yoshimitsu firstly planted the Bonsai tree in the ground, then trained it like a boat shape. As Yoshimitsu  grew this from Bonsai by himself, the age of the tree is estimated about 600 years old.  As the head of the ship is heading westward, it is said that the ship was made from the idea of heading toward the Buddha’s Land of Bliss in the west.

Kinkakuji ohuda

By the way, one of the reasons came from the recently released film, “Bohemian Rhapsody”.  It is a film about Freddie Mercury’s life, a  legendary lead singer of Queen. Freddie is known as a Japanophile and things Japanese are seen in some scenes in the film. In one scene, I found an amulet from Kinkaku-ji stuck onto the wall of Fredde’s house!  I may have visited there.