Category: Zen Living Written by Nina Simons Views: 1505
There isn't a single country in the world that blends history, untamed landscape, tranquil atmosphere altogether with contemporary advancements. Japan is the world of tomorrow while still retaining the reputation of being a lush country that has numerous monuments, historic castles, eye-catching gardens, and picturesque floral displays which automatically exude positive energy and serene feeling.
Not only will you find an amazing mix of cultural and historical heritage, but only in Japan will you have the unique opportunity to reach full “Zen” feeling, stay happy and healthy and return home totally transformed. Due to Buddhism, Japanese people molded the connotation of this stress-free practice, giving it a more divine explanation. As a visitor to this enchanting country, you could go to places that will revive your spirit and soul and bring Zen back to our hometown. You will also get inspired to introduce some of Japanese interior design principles to your home and change your life for the better. All you need to do is visit some of these enthralling places.
Starting off with the element that attracts most calmness, water. Since Zen attains one of the principles of finding "hidden beauty" and therefore inquiring inner peace within you, Nachi Falls in Wakayama is the ideal place to do so. Nachi Falls is the tallest single drop waterfall in Japan, at scorching 133-meter high. At close proximity you will see the magnificent Nachi Taisha Shiato shrine, which is said to be more than 1,400 years old, overlooking the waterfall. This is only one of several Buddhist and Shinto religious sites found around this gorgeous waterfall, but surely worth the visit. You can find a beautiful spot to meditate next to the waterfall and enjoy your visit in full.
Happo Pond in Nagano
The Nagano Prefecture is also known as being the Japanese Alps due to its wonderful strenuous white mountains that attract skiers all over the world. The nearby village of Hakuba is the ideal place to settle. With cozy accommodation, delicious homemade cuisine, and great outdoor activities Hakuba ski resorts have to offer, this is a perfect place for active and mindful people. If you are looking for an all-in-one experience, you can have there a perfect snow adventure. During chill mornings you can go skiing on some of the captivating Japanese ski trails, and then in the afternoon relax besides gorgeous Happo Pond. The pond itself is small in seas, but it stretches 2,060 meters above sea level and it doesn't lack in beauty because the 3,000 meters tall Hakuba Peaks reflect the calm waters.
Japanese Zen gardens have always been a one-of-a-kind inspiration to the people of different cultures on how to achieve perfect tranquility no matter where you may roam. Japanese gardens are places of quiet contemplation and reflecting because they represent a perfect counterbalance to the stressed of bustling and hectic existence. If you were to head out to Kyoto, you will find many such places, but probably the most enchanting Zen garden might be the earliest one. Saiho-Ji, also known as Moss Temple, was created in the 14th century, but the moss actually formed much later when the temple went into disrepair. Nevertheless, it remained a perfect sanctuary to the people in need of serene ambient and meditation.
Hidden Zen gems in Tokyo
This riveting and adventuresome city is truly a special gem on its own. Even though modern buildings rise every day, Tokyo doesn't lack places where you can find the utmost tranquility and experience Zen as the ancient Japanese ancestors did. Firstly, visit the Seishoji Temple which holds the reputation of being one of Tokyo's most storied Zen temple. They welcome all people who wish to practice zazen meditation, the unique breathing and posture techniques for achieving peace. Later, visit a little Zen tea shop Koso-an situated in the suburbs of Jiyugaoka. The stunning garden awaits you in a seemingly small tea shop. While in Tokyo, don't miss out the flabbergasting Hamarikyu Gardens and Rikugien. Both Zen gardens are inspired by tranquil mountains and lakes and you will be able to find your little piece of heaven even if you are in the heart of the active cosmopolitan city.
Nozawa (Zao) Onsen
If you ever thought that snow and Zen don't go hand in hand, then you thought wrong. Undoubtedly one of the most well-known ski resorts in Japan, Zao Onsen attracts not only keen skiers but also travelers who seek a peaceful and quiet place around the snow-capped mountains and trees. It is absolutely wonderful seeing how extreme snow and seasonal winds overtake the mountain's pine trees during the coldest winter months. It's no wonder that locals call those show towers "ice monsters" or Juhyo in Japanese. In order to find your Zen in this cold place, you only need to step out your warm cabin and experience true mother nature's wonder. Nozawa Onsen has genuine timeless Japanese charm with a touch of extreme activities.
Arashiyami Bamboo Grove
This is a truly dazzling place full of tall bamboo trees is one of Kyoto's picture-perfect jewels. The Sagano Bamboo Forest considered as one of the world's most beautiful forests is located in Arashiyama, a district on the western outskirts of Kyoto. Alluring paths wind through towering bamboo groves, with the sun peeking between the green stalks and creating a magnificent fairytale effect. You can access it just north of the entrance to the Tenryuji Temple and stroll along with the swaying bamboos in order to achieve full Zen feeling. There aren't many places on the planet so charming as this small Japanese forest, so prepare to be totally enchanted.
Hitachi Seaside Park
If any practitioner of Zen notion would like to replica the deep Japanese Zen principle of simplicity, then they must head out to the Hitachi Seaside Park and see the famous fields of baby-blue flowers. Also known as “baby blue eyes”, here you will be able to see more than 4 million nemophilas bloom from late April to May. This 190-hectare park changes color with the seasons from vibrant green to fiery red, but nevertheless it something worth experiencing. You could take home those kochia shrubs, the plant then in your garden and make a perfect Japanese Zen place in the comfort of your home.
Adachi Museum of Art
A stand-alone museum out in the open, with luscious greeneries, perfect flowers, and neatly-cut bushes represents one of the must-see sights in Shimane prefecture. The Adachi gardens are a part of Adachi Museum of Art and are said to be a "living Japanese painting". It is no wonder that these gardens are one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan. No adjective can detailedly explain how meticulously are the gardens sculpted. Literally, no stone, no branch or leaf are out of place. Here you could also see various artifacts, ceramics, and a collection of very ornate paper walls. Adachi Museum of Art is the ultimate Zen place because it symbols a perfect blend of earth's natural beauty with men's tender care. You can take photos, walk along the gardens to get some inspiring ideas in order to recreate similar lush garden in your home.
Also known as the "Island of Gods", this UNESCO World Heritage site is home to one of the most scenic and out-of-this-world spots in Japan. Located near the coast of Hiroshima, Miyajima can only be accessed by boat. The green forest of Mount Misen will utterly jaw-dropping with its magical contrast with the deep blue sea. The magnificent torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine stands tall above the water, you could either walk towards it or at a high time touch it by boat. You will immediately feel the Zen aura because the Otorii's vermilion color of the gate is said to keep evil spirits away. Bring a blanket and have a nice picnic or meditate just along the shores.
There aren't many places around the globe where you can find respite for your mind, body, and soul. Only in Japan, you can find your inner peace while visiting some of these palaces.
Nina is a blogger, yoga aficionado and a travel enthusiast with a distinctive taste for home decor. She's passionate about learning new things and sharing meaningful ideas. If you wanna see what she's up to you can find her on twitter!
This article was submitted exclusively to CrystalWind.ca by Nina Simons © 2019 crystalwind.ca
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ॐ Namasté - Blessings!
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