Saturday, October 1, 2011

Japanese Garden/Kaiserslautern

We visited our dear friends Helmut and Margit last weekend.
Their son and his wife live in Japan, so I had the "brilliant" idea of taking them
to the Japanese Garden in Kaiserslautern.
I had heard their was a special tea room where you could be part of  a
ceremonial tea.  As always, you may click on the pictures to enlarge for a better view.

Kaiserslautern has a twin or partner city in Japan called
 When a delagation from this city visited in 1993, the idea was born for the Japanese Garden in
The garden opened it's doors to the public in the year 2000 as part of the
State Garden Show.

This family was having fun feeding the enormous colorful
koi in the pond.

We were greatly disappointed when we reached the tea room to find it was closed.
One of the workers said that it used to be open all the time but, most guests refused to remove their shoes and socks to go into the tearoom as they do in Japan,
so they closed it.
HOWEVER; if you get a group of 5 people together and call them, they will book a tea ceremony for you.
Here's the kicker, it cost 350 Euro for 5 people which, the lady assured us was
extremely reasonable.
I didn't think so and since this was the main reason for my visit,
I was extremely disappointed.

Of course, being a Japanese garden you'll find
Buddha here.

Karesansui  rock gardens or waterless stream gardens are typically associated with Zen Buddhism, and often found in the front or rear gardens at the residences  of Zen abbots. The main elements in the garden are rocks and sand, with the sea symbolized not by water but by pebbles raked in patterns that suggest rippling water. The concept of this garden was interesting to me and I imagine
it's difficult to rake these stones in straight lines.

Pretty alcove in the garden.

If we had been able to go in and have the tea
ceremony we all agreed this would have
turned an "okay" visit into a
"good" visit.

Sadly, because the sign posts were not well marked for parking
or the entrance to the gardens, we wandered around for a long time trying to find it.
It's not suitable for wheelchairs and
there was no tea ceremony available for the visit.
For these reasons, this didn't make it on our list of places we'd go back to
or recommend to our friends.
If you'd still like to go
will give you the information you need.

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