Travel Tales: An Enigmatic Moment at a Japanese Garden

An Enigmatic Moment at a Japanese Garden

Let me start off by saying I don't like pretty landmarks, especially man-made buildings and structures, especially in Japan… So, I usually don't want to go without a reason actually. Because those places are usually crowded and I often can't help but get fed up if the places tell me to "please be impressed!" without any special uniqueness, perhaps, when there's a plethora of information and so on. I suppose it's because my imagination or expectation can often exceed reality before I even go. Yet I went to a traditional Japanese garden because of some reasons and this is the tale of when I went.

At any rate, I entered the garden and let my eyes wander over the scenery that I expected and that did not go above or below expectations. There is a large pond in the middle, so that you can walk around it. Basically, it is that type of garden that can be found anywhere in the world; a garden for people to walk around a pond, where people can gather. Especially, this strolling garden is designed to look around the garden and enjoy.

The carp swam around in the pond and I was surprised at this point because it was my first time seeing carp in real life after a long time. It was very different from the recent landmark which is not different from a photo or picture. The carp were roughly one meter in length. That's pretty big. There were quite eerie sizes so that they looked as if some calf tattoos had come to life and were swimming around. Or perhaps some human legs were swimming.

The turtles were also big. Turtles are also like a set in a traditional Japanese garden, but each is around 50 cm. It was pretty big. It stopped at the top of the rock and looked at the profile of the other turtle looking at the pond all the time, but it also did not look like me. It was probably about 120 years old. It stuck out its steep and sharp jaw like a dragon, taking on the appearance of a philosopher, with eyes filled to the brim with an anguish reaching beyond melancholy. It continued to stare at the pond. Or perhaps it was trying to challenge this saddening world. Or maybe it was thinking about what to eat today with a stiff face. It seemed as if clearly it neither couldn't nor wanted to walk anymore, having become so sluggish and heavy carrying its luggage called a shell.

On the other hand, when I was standing at the edge of the pond, the carp came at once. They thought they could get bait and play with it. Their swimming appeared pretty graceful, but I wonder if I see this frequently. Of course, you should not feed any living things in the garden without permission. It is because the manager is properly giving bait and the pond and the garden become dirty. Furthermore, the carps sometimes keep eating until they get sick.

After returning to the trail for a while, on the right side was a pond and a gazebo, and the grass on the left side. In the case of the Japanese garden in Tokyo especially outside the garden, the other side of the lawn is a hedge, and it is an ordinary residential area and a road. I noticed a strange event there.

A pretty girl who had blue eyes and was wearing her blue hair in a messy, short bob was being photographed. She was posing with a cool look and Goth & Emo-like fashion. The staff had a reflective plate and it seemed like a serious photo-shooting.

What was eccentric to me was that despite the wonderful backdrop they only used the grass behind her, and despite their best efforts it seemed like only the hedge that looked like a wall. I did not understand why they came to the garden and took photos of the grass even though it was the model's background. I experienced a sense of enigmatic feeling like being caught in a strange, eccentric meta-distortion, like in a mirror world.

After I had walked around the pond, I headed to the exit. Right before, there was a traditional Japanese Shinto-style washbasin which was made out of stone, about waist-high. It was pretty brilliant, style and season as well, so I thought this was nice and tried to take photos. Then the people from the photoshoot just walked right into the frame of my mobile phone's camera shot. I was waiting for them to pass, muttering a few spells while holding the mobile camera, my tolerance deeper than the sea, of course. Yet the blue-haired girl, the model, she noticed me, maybe she had heard my spells?

Then, with a happy face, she came over and stood right next to me and began taking photos of the washbasin. Her happy smile was exuberant, radiating from her like sunshine. As anyone knows, anyone smiles. In her case she looked extremely adorable, like a child. She smiled, showing her teeth and smiling so wide she looked adorable, like a cute jack-o'-lantern.

However, I suddenly noticed it. Perhaps, she was pointing her mobile phone's camera to the washbasin and taking selfie. Even before, it seemed, I might have fallen into the strange narrow gap of distortion between the mirror's meta-world and the real world, and I gave over the standing position so that she could shoot from the front. To put it exactly, I just staggered because of a sudden feeling of vertigo.

Since I handed over the location to her, I had no choice but to wait. She gladly checked the mobile camera, and again, she pointed it towards the washbasin with her huge jack-o'-lantern smile, and happily checked. She repeated that a few times.

In fact, her huge jack-o'-lantern smile was such a brilliant smile that would have even made the sun sulk. Yet on the other hand, it was an enigma for me. Because like in this case, when a person checks the photo they've taken, their face usually turns serious, but in her case, it was different.

Jack-o'-lantern with pointing, a brilliant smile with checking, jack-o'-lantern, a brilliant smile, then the loop of smiles ended. Once she spared me another brief smile like an encore, she thrust the mobile into the back pocket of her torn grungy hot pants littered with a lot of safety pins, she closed her mouth, and as she was turning toward the exit her face took on a melancholic and cool look and then, she left.

A few seconds later, I took a photo of the washbasin with a feeling of wonder and I couldn't help but giggle softly. However, when I checked the photo I took the photo which was taken with my photography skill that admittedly was as scarce as hen's teeth as usual. I could definitely confirm that I was in reality.

The enigmatic mirror world may occasionally drag out a human's nature. It may sometimes be a dark side, but it does not wonder even if it were the bright side.

One way or another, it was another thing that still impressed me more than the expected impression, but the Japanese traditional garden was also not necessarily so bad any longer.