SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR 2017 – Day 7

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

         Here we are again this morning in search of sublime tea gardens, theme of our 2017 study trip, an initiatory journey. We start with Toji-in …

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

We then have lunch in a very old traditional restaurant nestled among the temples and offering vegetarian zen cooking of Buddhist monks. A radiant weather allows us to settle outside. What happiness ! And the perfect time to address one of my lectures on the theme of “the Japanese Garden soul”.

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

We then go to the big Myoshin-ji complex to visit two more beautiful tea gardens and succumb again to the ritual of tasting a matcha tea in the setting sun.

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

For complete terms and conditions of this initiatory study tour about nature, niwaki and Japanese gardens SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR, visit the website dedicated to it.

See you tomorrow !

SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR 2017 – Day 6

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

         After these few days of visits followed by this little break, an evidence suddenly hits my mind! The Japanese gardens are definitely for me a journey to the serenity of the soul, the eternal fusion with reflections of nature, where we are able to feel our own fragility …

Therefore, with more joy still, by this beautiful and sweet sunny day of Indian summer announced, we take the road of North-East of Kyoto, to start precisely by a pearl as I adore them .. Unknown to Westerners, but acclaimed by the Japanese !

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

We continue this journey by another pearl, Renge-ji …

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

After a succulent and invigorating teppanyaki (Japanese grilled meat), then the flavor of a good matcha tea, we admire a collection of more adorable tea houses the ones that the others, snuggled in the middle of a garden a little wild with the surranned charm, discovered last year. Sublime!

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

And we end the day with another garden, with a small pines and maples forest to die for…

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

For complete terms and conditions of this initiatory study tour about nature, niwaki and Japanese gardens SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR, visit the website dedicated to it.

SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR 2017 – Day 5

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

        
Today, same pleasant day of Indian summer, with free time and shopping for those who wish it …

In the meantime, someone else is still working and is resting a little bit ! Before nap, head to Obai-in for a photo and video shoot !

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

We find ourselves at the end of the afternoon, for a night ride under the pines and maples, between buildings in pure style sukiya … What a wonder ….

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Another atmosphere compared to a day visit. Inescapable ! ….

And we end the evening with a dinner in a very old and beautiful traditional restaurant composed only of private rooms. It’s as if we still hear the rustle of the silk kimonos of geiko

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

For complete terms and conditions of this initiatory study tour about nature, niwaki and Japanese gardens SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR, visit the website dedicated to it.

See you tomrrow !…

SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR 2017 – Day 4

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

        We take the road this morning with a mild and sunny weather, to go to the big Daitoku-ji complex. We make a stop on the way, to meet a brilliant Japanese artist (no pun intended!) working the gold leaf, Noguchi san, who introduces us to his art and makes us visit his magnificent machiya and his different tsuboniwa, built by his grandfather.

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

After a very nice lunch in an old bathroom converted into a restaurant, we go to Daitoku-ji …

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

… to visit first my favorite dry garden, Zuiho-in…

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

… to continue by the visit of Daisen-in temple…

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

… and end the day with an exceptional opening, a chaniwa with many tea houses.

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

For complete terms and conditions of this initiatory study tour about nature, niwaki and Japanese gardens SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR, visit the website dedicated to it.

See you soon !

SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR 2017 – Day 3

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

        This morning, the good weather is also at the rendezvous, and we leave towards the East of Kyoto to discover two beautiful little known gardens, the former, designed by the famous garden master Jihei Ogawa (1860-1933) and the other, more contemporary, designed by his son.

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Then we leave for lunch in a very old restaurant, offering fine zen vegetarian cuisine, typical menu of Buddhist monks.

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

After this delicious lunch, we head to the huge Kennin-ji temple and its gardens …

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

… then to the famous garden of Kodai-ji temple …

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

… to end the afternoon in this picturesque neighborhood of Gion and its charming little streets, typical of the city of Kyoto, with a passage to the tea room with a koi basin of great price. We enjoy a matcha ice cream accompanied by mashed red beans and a roasted tea. I just love it !

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

For complete terms and conditions of this initiatory study tour about nature, niwaki and Japanese gardens SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR, visit the website dedicated to it.

See you soon !

SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR 2017- Day 2

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

        After a good night’s sleep, we start on the right foot to discover real treasures, great classics, with a magnificent light that promises a beautiful sunny day today.
Head northwest of Kyoto with quintessential pond, dotted with islands, themselves populated by niwaki pines, with gogan arrangements of all beauty … Only small shadow on the board, the crowd bath!

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

We continue with the pinnacle of karesansui, accompanied by one of my lectures on the theme “the myth of the Zen Garden”.

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

We also discover another large temple garden, very relaxing, a maze of corridors surrounding tsuboniwa all more beautiful than each other, and two small ponds lined with pines. This visit also gives us the chance to observe the gardeners at work for the momiage – the removal of needles before winter.

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

What happiness…!

For complete terms and conditions of this initiatory study tour about nature, niwaki and Japanese gardens SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR, visit the website dedicated to it.

SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR 2017 – Day 1

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

        October 30, 2017. Here we are ! This is the 1st day of the SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR 2017 – 5th edition, initiatory journey, and this year again, this study trip is part of the tea garden theme, chaniwa, also called roji.

A very fresh and windy weather today, 15°C, after the huge rain of yesterday, which offers us at times beautiful rays of light through heavy black clouds, as well as trees that start to change quickly from color following the big temperature differences of these last days … That happiness … !!!

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Despite the throes of jet lag for the newcomers, we will do our little ritual walking in the Kyoto Imperial Park … with the group’s photo.

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - study tour in Japan - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

For complete terms and conditions of this initiatory study tour about nature, niwaki and Japanese gardens SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR, visit the website dedicated to it.

You will not perhaps have the course exactly in time, because my days are going to be extremely buzy this year, since this new opus is this time bilingual (French/English). It is still necessary that I sleep a little … Thank you in advance for your patience.

JAPAN 2017

         Like every year, here I am in Kyoto for the preparation of the new SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR … and I have to say that this time, this beginning of stay is episodically well watered with the remains of the passage of a typhoon !

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - voyage d'études au Japon - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

But, no matter, it’s still beautiful ! Ahhhh, the fog scarves that hang on the forest after the rain … I’m going down!

Spiritual Japan niwaki tour - voyage d'études au Japon - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Final preparations then, but this year in slow speed, with a great need for rest and sleep after twelve days non-stop building, to move a ton and a half of rocks, sand and gravel, not to mention the rest, the soil, plants, curbs and granite basin …, etc.

I’ll meet you in a few days to start the SPIRITUAL JAPAN NIWAKI TOUR 2017. See you soon !

Creation of a therapeutic Japanese garden ‘reflection of nature©’

        A small cascading brook hosting a nagaretsukubai at its base and that finishes by getting lost in the rocks … Here is the first workingsite in therapeutic Japanese gardens, thanks to all my technical and aesthetic knowledge acquired at the source concerning this style of garden until today, and the protocol I created about it.

Therapeutic Japanese gardens - Niwatherapy© - Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

The autumn being favorable to the plantations, it was the moment chosen to pass to the realization … to the height of my waitings ! Everything, absolutely everything was perfect !

Therapeutic Japanese gardens - Niwatherapy© - Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

The truck was loaded with rocks, sand and gravel, plants, wood needed for the construction of the fence, tools … like a scientist “Tetris”, to be able to achieve 15m² of garden in the Alps in one go, after several months of research to find beautiful materials and have some items made by the best craftsmen.

Therapeutic Japanese gardens - Niwatherapy© - Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

It was necessary, however, to develop some ingenious stratagems with a certain dose of imagination for a sloping ground with a part situated under a terrace, but in the end, everything went beautifully well !

Therapeutic Japanese gardens - Niwatherapy© - Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

And I take advantage of this event to make you discover the presentation video of this new activity. The wonderful original Japanese flute music “Shakuhachi Wind” is from my friend Tea Roman. If you like this video and to make known this new concept, thank you for sharing it …

(Here is the video link in case your browser does not display its insertion.)

Good viewing ! If you have a garden project (between 2 and 20m²), contact me…

Japanese garden of Montreal

         Taking advantage of my trip to Quebec, I went to the island of Montreal to visit the Japanese garden of the city’s large botanical garden.

Niwaki and japanese garden courses - Training center of North America - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Niwaki and japanese garden courses - Training center of North America - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Around a pavilion of beautiful architecture, as a showcase of Japanese culture and built by Hisato Hiraoka, I could discover in turn an elegant karesansui, then a beautiful and charming tea garden, and finally a large garden walk around a pond with waterfalls, directed by Ken Nakajima (1914-2000), Japanese landscape architect living in Toronto. A myriad of koi carps, some of which measure no more than 2cm, accompany us all the way. The whole garden is bordered by a beautiful forest of North American red pines.
And I even had the chance to enjoy a private tour of the tea garden, which is only a garden of contemplation in normal times.

Niwaki and japanese garden courses - Training center of North America - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Niwaki and japanese garden courses - Training center of North America - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

This garden is really a very beautiful space present on the American continent, created mainly with endemic plants and rocks of the region (the gravel, on the other hand, comes from Japan – I would recognize it between thousands …).
The proof, once again, that it is possible to create a real Japanese garden in the West from the moment when, staying away from clichés, we respect the rules and first of all, its spirit!