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Monk’s Garden

3 January 2013

Squeezing more from our autumnal exploration of Nara

Mention Nara and most people think the big buddha at Todai-ji, the park, the deer, Kasuga Taisha, and if they’re into gardens, perhaps places like Yoshikien and Isuien, all in Nara city.
Very few people get the chance to explore the rest of Nara - Nara prefecture, which is a shame as it’s loaded with things to see - temples, shrines, burial mounds around Asuka, as well as mountains and forests.
My brother-in-law took us to this place, to be forever remebered as the monk’s garden, because the monk came out and greeted us, and we can’t remember the name. He described the garden as typical of the Nara style, comparing it I think to the Kyoto style, by which we think what he really meant was a more informal, shabby style. This place had a lovely end of season feel to it - full of plants, including this great Prunus mume, which must look fab in Feb/March, and lots of azaleas.