Garden stuff

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Garden stuff

Post by mercuryfan on Tue 15 Oct 2013, 03:00

Dembo-in
Japan
Phone: 03/3842-0181 for reservations

Believed to have been made in the 17th century by Kobori Enshu, the genius of Zen landscape
design, the garden of Dembo-in, part of the living quarters of the abbot of Senso-ji, is the best-kept
secret in Asakusa. Anyone can see the front entrance to Dembo-in from Nakamise-dori -- behind an
iron fence in the last block of shops -- but the thousands of Japanese visitors passing by seem to
have no idea what it is. (And if they do, it somehow never occurs to them to visit it themselves.) The
garden of Dembo-in is usually empty and always utterly serene, an island of privacy in a sea of
pilgrims. Spring, when the wisteria blooms, is the ideal time to be here. As you walk along the path
that circles the pond, a different vista presents itself at every turn. The only sounds are the cries of
birds and the splashing of carp.

A sign in English on Dembo-in-dori, about 150 yards west of the intersection with Naka-mise-dori,
indicates the entrance, through the side door of a large wooden gate. For permission to see the
abbot's garden, apply at the temple administration building, between Hozo-mon and the Five-Story
Pagoda, in the far corner. COST: Free. Daily 9-4; may be closed if abbot has guests.
(Source: Fodors)
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