Fun Bonsai workshop at Bonsai Village, Saitama

The vibrant and twisted trunk of a Goyomatsu (Japanese white pine) brings an invigorating freshness to the tips of each green leaf in the beautifully pruned foliage. In their tiny pots, Bonsai fascinate me as a symbol of the strength and vitality of nature. Although bonsai have always fascinated me, I have been daunted by the seeming difficulty of growing bonsai. However, one day, I found that a one-day hands-on Bonsai workshop was held in Saitama, and decided to give it a try – on a whim! The workshop was held in Seikouen, a Bonsai shop, located in Omiya Bonsai Village, Saitama prefecture. It was still very hot on the…

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On a sunny Autumn day – 1

On a sunny Autumn day, I made an impromptu visit to Gotokuji (豪徳寺) which is said to be the Birthplace of Manekineko (beckoning cat). During the Edo era, there was a priest of a run-down temple named Koutokuin (the predecessor of Gotokuji) who was precarious about a cat and fed it some of his own portions. One day he mumbled to himself wouldn’t it be nice if this cat could usher in good fortunes.

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On a sunny Autumn day – 2

While I stared out the window on the train, I was quietly pondering that I never had time to visit Gotokuji even though I’ve been blessed by the Manekineko more than my fair share. The train had just arrived at Gotokuji station. I got off the train hastily and took an escalator from the 2nd floor of the station to the 1st floor exit. Exiting the station, I turned left toward the Gotokuji shopping street where a relaxed atmosphere waited the commuters. Walking along the street, my eye’s caught Manekinekos in many locations.

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