Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kisen-an in Kamakura, Kanagawa prefecture

We went to a trip to Kamakura and Hakone in Kanagawa prefecture. The first place we visited was Jomyoji temple (admission fee 100yen) in Kamakura. The reason that we visited Jomyoji was for Kisen-an, which is a traditional Japanese house with a nice garden. The house and garden are not big, but Kisen-an has unpretentious graciousness and peace. It is a kind of café, so you have to order tea to get in. Their menu is simple. They only have 500 yen or 800 yen matcha tea set. The either tea set comes with a bowl of matha and confectionery. We ordered 800 yen tea sets. We took off our shoes, and got in the tatami room. We sat and waited for the tea while viewing the garden. This is my favorite garden. I can say that Kisen-an is one of the top three my favorite temples or shrines that I have ever visited. I like very beautiful greens of the garden, and the small tree on the hill in the middle. I love the open-designed architecture toward the garden, which makes a unity with the nature.

Shortly, a lady brought our teas and sweets. The confectionery was so good. The sweetness and texture was very pleasant to the palate. It was one of the bests I have ever had. The matcha was quite thin to me. We enjoyed the peaceful tea time. After we had the tea, we stayed there while and admired the garden. There was a suikinkutsu in a corner of the garden. Suikinkutsu is a device in gardens to enjoy reverberating sounds of water drops in a big jar installed under the ground. You could hear the periodic beautiful dripping sound from a bamboo pipe placed on the suikinkutsu. We were very much satisfied with the visit.

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