Saturday, April 6, 2013

Quirky, and What is peace and tranquility for you? (This week's Photo Hunt themes)


I know full well that some people consider it quirky -- if not downright weird -- on my part to bring Puppet Ponyo along when I go on vacation.  But I have to say that her presence has resulted in some pretty fun photos -- including one of her posing in front of the Great Buddha (Daibutsu) of Kamakura.

A city of many temples and shrines, Kamakura also is home to the Hokokuji, a Zen Buddhist temple established in 1334 and famed for its bamboo grove which both Puppet Ponyo and I found to be a peaceful and tranquil place -- so much so in her case that she felt an urge to lie down on a mossy rock for a bit and contemplate the beauty of it all!

On one side of the bamboo grove, there's a tea house where visitors can sit down and drink some green tea along with the green views.  On the other side are caves dug into the mountainside that house the graves of members of the Ashikaga clan that ruled Japan for a time, including one unfortunate 13-year-old boy who committed ritual suicide at Hokokuji.  

Although some may find it quirky -- even outright disconcerting -- to come across visual reminders of death in the same area where many people find beauty, peace and tranquility, I think there's something very, well, Zen about this.  And if not for the presence Puppet Ponyo, I wouldn't have thought of this Eastern Kamakura temple as being able to link together the very tonally different themes that Sandi and Gattina chose this week for their respective Photo Hunts!

20 comments:

ewok1993 said...

it can be disconcerting i agree, but i lean more on the peace and tranquility this place brings. it's fun i think to have a "lucky charm" with you when you travel.

Team Tabby said...

Sounds like you have lots of fun on your travels! Thanks for sharing your photos.

Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, it makes me happy when puppet Ponyo makes an appearance on your blog. She looks quite peaceful in her tranquil setting.

Great photo collection and a wonderful take on the dual themes.

Have a great weekend.

EastCoastLife said...

Love the Zen theme in Japanese parks and gardens. I try to create that in my home. I love bamboo products whether they are edible or not. :)

Mar said...

Beautiful, peaceful park!! puppet Ponyo is a cute addition to your blog.
Happy weekend!

photohunters

YTSL said...

Hi ewok1993 --

I'm not sure if Puppet Ponyo's a lucky charm but I have to say that I prefer seeing her in travel photos than myself... ;b

Hi Team Tabby --

I do have lots of fun on my travels -- especially when visiting Japan, which I really have grown to love. :)

Hi Trekcapri --

Aww, thank you for the Puppet Ponyo love. Hope you have a good weekend too. :)

Hi EastCoastLife --

I have to say that I prefer to look at bamboo rather than eat it... ;b

Hi Mar --

The bamboo part of Hokokuji's more of a small grove/garden than a park -- but I guess it serves similar purposes to parks. And thanks for thinking of Puppet Ponyo as cute. :)

LifeRamblings said...

great series of photos. Ponyo is adorable and a great travel companion.

Re the street art, they are part of the Mirrors George Town project created for the George Town Festival 2012. As far as i can tell, the feedback from the public has been awesome and if you want to see more of his work, please click here.

Gattina said...

Indeed looks very peaceful and zen !

Annie said...

Seeing your Ponyo in the bamboo forest makes me smile!

Sue St Clair said...

I think its cool Puppet Ponyo accompanies you on your adventures :)

Carver said...

Great way to combine the themes. Beautiful scenery and puppet ponyo is fun.

JDeQ said...

Great shots for this week's quirky theme.

Have a super weekend.

sbk said...

hi ytsl,

Love the photo of Puppet Ponyo in the bamboo grove. Great photo essay. I wish you would include more photo of Puppet Ponyo on your hikes. She is a fun addition to your nature photos.

YTSL said...

Hi Life Ramblings --

Thank you for your comments -- and cool that you're another Puppet Ponyo fan! -- and also answering my query over on your blog. :)

Hi Gattina --

It helped that Hokokuji is not as crowded as, say, the grounds where the Great Buddha of Kamakura is situated. :)

Hi Annie --

I'm so glad the Puppet Ponyo photo made you smile. :)

Hi Sue --

Thank you for thinking that it's cool. (I know people who think more along the lines of it being... weird! :S)

Hi Carver --

Thank you -- and yes, Puppet Ponyo is indeed fun. :)

Hi JDeQ --

Thanks, and hope you have a good weekend too. :)

Hi sbk --

A few weeks ago, I brought Puppet Ponyo along on her first Hong Kong hike. But I don't usually bring her along because I'm afraid that: a) conditions are too sweaty for her; and b) that certain hiking friends will throw her off a cliff!!! ;(

Kara Claflin said...

I think vacations are best when you bring who ever you want. And that place is beautiful.

sbk said...

hi ytsl,

Sweaty I can understand but...ach..........acht.......throw Puppet Ponyo off a cliff! Who are these dastardly people you hike with!!!!! locbio 8000

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

The quirky moments make life exciting!

YTSL said...

Hi Kara --

I'm one of those people who likes the freedom of traveling alone but still like seeing a familiar face around -- one other reason why bringing Puppet Ponyo is good as far as I'm concerned. And yes Hokokuji is beautiful -- actually, so much of Kamakura is! :)

Hi again sbk --

Well, one of them finally warmed up to Puppet Ponyo after seeing "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea". The other has promised he won't throw her off the cliff but I'm still not utterly convinced he won't! ;S

Hi Sandi --

...and fun! :)

StephenC said...

I have been to Kamakura a couple of times, and I also like the temples there very much. Much more calm and peaceful. Thought inducing.

YTSL said...

Hi StephenC --

I was (pleasantly) surprised by how quiet and deserted some of the temples and shrines in Kamakura can be. And yes, a lack of crowds can make places feel far more calm and peaceful. :)