Travelling About

Debra and I have been travelling with our friend Daphne from Vancouver for the last week – totally away from our work in the studio, but so wonderful!   We started in Kyoto (last weekend was the beginning of the garden festival) and went to the Tofokuji-Temple Garden where this particular garden is open for a mere 15 days this year.   It was a very different Zen garden (to me) but designed by the landscape architect who had designed the Ryoan-ji Temple garden. I had visited Ryoan-ji twice before but it was so crowded on this day, I was happy I had seen it in a more meditative atmosphere.

We moved on to Okayama to visit the Korakuen Garden, said to be the third best garden in Japan – I don’t pretend to know how these judgements are made (we saw a couple having their wedding photos after their Shinto ceremony) and spent the day in this amazing space!  What rich experiences for us.

Then on to Imbe, about ½ hour by train from Okayama, to see the Bizen pottery all of us are exceptionally fond of – and we spent a day there.   It took us a bit of time to get around because we find it all so interesting and we need to take our time!  Many of the galleries and museums ask that we not take photographs, so catalogues, on-line references, or if one is lucky, the purchasing of a piece of work as each of us did, keep the works  fresh in our minds.

The last night of our travels was spent on Naoshima, sometimes called the art island,  at Benesse House.  To me,  the architecture of Tadao Ando and the Chifu Museum art installations were worth making the trip to Japan.  We could have spent days there as we just scratched the surface and I feel so much the need to return.

We finished our journey in Kyoto where visited Gallery 13 Maroni to see the ceramic work of Shigaraki resident guest artist Barbara Tong, from Hong Kong now living in London, England.

There is lots more to say, but I will let my photos tell you of some of our journey.

At the entrance to Tofukuji Garden – such a lot said in such a small space

The endless spiral raked in the sand





The Okayama Korakuen, varying levels of landscape, beautiful at the beginning of the growing season

the happy couple posing for photos in the garden

a Korakuen water garden to reflect upon

a bamboo grove at Korakuen – a favourite plant of mine but a villain to many!

Ryoan-Ji Temple garden in Kyoto

the perfect water fountain at Ryoan-ji – first seen by me in 1985 and it retains its spell

At the end of their day, the garden workers carry their moss rakings away

no space is too small to make a garden – in Imbe


shoreline on Naoshima near Benesse House

Tadao Ando’s design of Benesse House – benesse motto is ‘well-being’

a sculpture in front of our Naoshima room responsive to the wind

Barbara Tong’s Kyoto exhibit at Gallery 13 Maronie in KyotoBarbara has made miniatures, approximately 4-5 cm each of landmark buildings in Kyoto.

Barbara has  made miniatures, approximately 4-5 cm each of landmark buildings in Kyoto.  She is a mixed-media artist, not primarily a ceramacist but has fallen under the spell of clay, and she plans on similar projects with other large cities around the world, concluding by amalgamating her works in a future exhibit.  The detail of her miniatures is charming and really quite wonderful.






7 thoughts on “Travelling About

  1. Kit

    Astonishing. What serene beauty. So in love with this adventure and glad Daph could be a part of it.

    1. Mary Daniel Post author

      So pleased you are enjoying it Kit – I am really not able to give the complete story but am trying my best. It was wonderful having Daphne here and I sent her off on the Ninja train yesterday and we were delighted to find some small Ninja forms climbing above the straps people grab on to while standing!

      1. Kit Grauer

        What a hoot. Japan is such an interesting mix of old and new- I guess that is what post post modern is all about

    1. Mary Daniel Post author

      Thank you Mia. Barbara’s wonderful exhibit ended today and when she returns, I will make sure she sees your comment! They are very charming pieces….

      1. Ken

        she will distinguish herself greatly, for she not only is gifted with an unusual artistic capacity, but she has energy, perseverance, and industry; – she, you, reflect this in all your endeavors – wonderful blog

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