When was the last time you lived just Here & Now, in this particular moment, without thinking or worrying about something that has already happened, something that may or may not happen in the near (or distant) future, something you have done, haven’t done or have to do?
The truth is that we rarely even notice, just flow together with the “wave”. Mega cities are the craziest, though Tokyo is not as fast-paced as it may seem from the first sight. Many, who have lived here a bit longer, call it a “slow pace” city instead, though we’ll talk about that some other day.
Today I want to share one of favourite places for a quick get-away from Tokyo – Hōkokuji Temple in Kamakura, or to be more precise, it’s Bamboo Garden.
Kamakura is an ancient city, once a political capital along with Nara and Kyoto and the birthplace of Japan’s first military government back in 1192. Its military power faded during the next few centuries and since 17th century Kamakura became known as a temple town. Now it is popular for beaches, nature and hiking, shrines and temples, and the Great Buddha, all within 1h train ride from central Tokyo.
Hōkokuji Temple is another short bus ride away from the central Kamakura and is one of the Zen temples dating back to the 14th century. Behind the temple there is a 2,000 Mōsō-bamboo garden or rather a forest, given that this giant species of bamboo can reach up to 28 meters height.
Within the bamboo garden there is a tea-house serving matcha tea, a kind of tea version of espresso.
Once you are there, with a cup of tea and a small sweet in the middle of silent bamboo grove, there is nothing else you can do as to be exactly Here and Now, watch the sun beams play among the trees and feel the bitterness of matcha in your throat with every sip (especially if you forgot to take a piece of sweet first).
The hectic world remains far away and your life slows down even if only for a few minutes. Time is what it is or El tiempo es el que es (just because I like the Spanish version).
When you leave, the world seems exactly the same, but you, don’t you feel somewhat different?…