Initially I visited Umenomiya taisha Shrine to admire kirishima azaleas but instead what I saw was a heavenly pond garden! After visiting Jonan-gu Shrine, Umenomiya taisha is the next garden I visited for kirishima azaleas this Spring.
When I arrived at Umenomiya taisha, I noticed that the place was entirely quiet. The shrine is certainly a deep historic place but is perhaps less known and that means less people. It is certainly the best place for fully enjoying photography!
Having little or large islands on a pond is one of the prominent features which invokes an essence of the 10th century Heian court culture. Heian-jingu Shrine’s garden, Shinen, holds a spectacular view of a water garden and where little decorative islands attracts the eyes of visitors. In Umenomiya taisha’s pond garden, Shinen, large islands are bridged by stones.
The stones are set on a zigzag shape. It is meant for dropping an evil spirit, akuryo, into a pond and so that it cannot go further and is cleansed in water. With a little attention, you will find zigzag stone bridges in some gardens of Kyoto.
The framing red colour of kirishima azaleas creates a powerful movement around a pond garden. While admiring an entire beauty and elegance of kirishima azaleas, visitors walk around a pond garden and are literary going through the tunnels of surrounding flowers. Flowering vivid red colours well decorate a hat, stone bridges and a stone monument in the water area and that charms the visitors’ attention.
The photographs of the pond garden locates the western parts of the entire garden. The eastern part of the garden will be introduced shortly on edenwalkers.com. Please expect more photographs and info on the garden!
Umenomiya taisha is one of Japan’s historic shinto shrine. In 965, Murakami emperor sent imperial messengers to report the important events of shinto which set kami as divine. Umenomina taisha is one of the 19 shrines which functioned as the imperial patronage in the 10th century Heian period. Gion Shrine, which is currently known as Yasaka-jinja, was also placed as one of the 19 shinto shrines.