Hidden from the hubbub of the city, behind a derelict tea house, a weather-beaten wooden gate opens onto a peaceful, natural and spiritual world. There lies a sleepy garden with its green shelter of fern and pine trees. Moss covered ancient lanterns, and a path of irregular pebbles lead the way to the old pond. Water trickles from a hollowed bamboo stick over and onto the flat stones below. Red, white and black spotted shapes of Koi-fish move like ghosts among the algae and the pondweed. Hovering dragonflies haunt water lilies and wild irises.
The air is filled with the musty smell of decaying leaves. In the spring, the whispering wind blows pink and white showers of fragile petals from the cherry trees. It is said that the blossoms resemble the short life of a samurai. Despite the vivid colours of the azalea bushes and the red lacquered bridge over the pond, it is rather a sad garden, made for meditation and contemplation.