Before coming on this trip,I watched Monty Don’s BBC programmes on Japanese gardens. I was enthralled by the attention to detail he commented on. How the gardeners seek blades of grass to remove from the moss gardens, the way pine needles are meticulously plucked from pine trees and how branches and limbs of older trees are carefully supported to extend their lives and accentuate their beauty. But when we arrived finally at the Adachi Museum in Yasugi, what struck me most was that this garden’s beauty is accentuated not only by this meticulous care, but oddly by the fact that you view it through huge glass windows.
The garden’s founder Adachi Zeno a businessman who was born in Yasugi wanted to give something back to his native city and opened the museum in 1970. It houses great works of art and the exhibition of works by Yokoya-ma Taikan was particularly stunning. The framing of the gardens echos the paintings and the paintings , many of nature, echo the gardens. The borrowed landscape of hills in the distance and even a manmade waterfall add to the detailed view your eyes take in as you look through the windows. The white gravel and pine tree garden was my favourite.
Although it was a long drive, it was well worth the visit and our next two days were at a more relaxed pace, exploring the coastline north of Yasugi, past Tottori and Tooyuka, we stayed at a lovely Ryokan in Kyotango-Shi with a fanatastic view of their garden and Kumisama Bay. http://hekisui.jp/en/
The coastline is a Unesco geo Park, known as San’in Kaigan Geopark, http://sanin-geo.jp/en/
But we would have needed another few days to explore it all, so we contented ourselves with what everyone does at the coast – paddle and eat ice cream. We discovered a lovely cafe and farm with a herd of Jersey cows. https://www.tango-jersey.co.jp/en/ Dairy products are definitely becoming more popular in Japan. It was great to see the calves and the ice cream was excellent.
The small fishing harbours were quiet as it was lunchtime, only women drying seaweed and their laundry at work.
We made it as far as Ine, which is famous for wooden fishing houses called “Funaya”, built on stilts right at the water’s edge.
Then it was time to return to our Ryokan for a relaxing soak in the hot springs and a delicious meal of seafood from the Sea of Japan served in our room overlooking the garden.