Do you know what a Hishaku is?

2015-07-28 18.09.35If you still have some unplanned time during your summer holidays you might schedule some hours for the Japanese Garden in Kaiserslautern that has become the largest garden of this kind in Europe and Rhineland-Palatinate.

You can stroll ad promenade the garden by following a path through the carefully composed landscapes.
There are a few elements essential to a Japanese garden. There are rocks like pebbles of flat black river rocks, granite, limestone and slate. The rocks are meticulously placed, nothing is left to chance. There are stepping stones carefully placed in a pond so that you can walk “trough“ the water.

 

2015-07-28 17.50.19Huge and very old trees can be admired in the park among the evergreen plants and shrubs. Frequently used evergreens might be spruces, pines, gingo, magnolia and numerous varieties of Japanese maple.

Bamboo and ornamental grasses are hallmarks of the Japanese garden. As wind catches their long slender leaves they provide sound and movement in the garden.

A huge waterfall provides the sound of rippling waters and wonderful Koi fish, a kind of Carp, swim in the pond. These very colourful fish can grow quite large and can live for decades. Other water features provide a source of moisture to the plants in the garden and help to keep it lush and green looking

2015-07-28 18.17.47In the picture you will find a Hishaku, a Japanese dipper or ladle used towash the hands before a ceremony. There is a special custom of washing the hands in which you must first wash your right hand, then your left, then you take a sip of the water with your left hand, wash the left hand again, before using the remaining water to clean the Hishaku. This is done in this way not just for self-purification, but because according to the ritual it is equally important that the next person to cleanse themselves does not feel uncomfortable doing so.

So, knowing all that, visit the peacefulness of the garden for some restful and unforgettable hours to recharge your batteries.

 

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