Less is more in Japan. A single pine tree surrounded by small pebbles will serve as the landscaping for an entire yard. The focus is the pine tree. When you sit at stare at a single tree standing just two meters tall you notice every detail of the needles and the bark. You see every curve of every branch and you appreciate what the tree brings to the space. The photo above is momiji or Japanese maple(Acer Palmatum). This has always been one of my favorite trees. When I was young, there was a Japanese maple in my neighborhood that had long limbs that stretched out in every direction. As kids, we would crawl out on a branch and lay down; hovering over the sidewalk. People would walk right under us and not even know we were there. It was great fun for many years until one day the tree was cut down. We were pretty bummed for a few minutes, but we found other trees to climb up; we never found another tree we could climb out. Climbing up a tree was like climbing up a ladder; climbing out on the limbs of the maple was almost like flying. I have seen many huge maples here in Japan, but none seem to be as big as the one we climbed as kids.
Here are some cool designs I have seen in the last couple of days.
A simple strech of lavender. The smell was so strong I wanted to lay down for a nap.
A nice entry to a home.
Keep it simple.
Harborland. A mall on Kobe.
A little bit of old and new. Rice fields in front of cake mansions. A mansion is a way of describing larger apartments. They look like square cakes, hence the name; cake mansion.
A nice bridge with cool lines we crossed on the way to Arima.
The river through Arima.
Arima is the oldest hot spring retreat in Japan. They love the water in this town. They bottle it. They bathe in it. They turn it into beer.
The upper part of the river.