Walking through the woods yesterday and seeing some wild narcissus, I thought we should go and visit Zuisenji (literally ‘Narcissus Temple’), a famous Buddhist place of worship and contemplation originating in the fourteenth century set in the hillside that for some reason I have never been to, with its swathes of fragrant narcissi laid out in the grounds.
When we got there, however, it turned out, disappointingly, that we had missed them.
The place itself though was anything but a disappointment, as you can see.
Beautifully situated in a sun-filled corner of Kamakura it was exquisitely tranquil and pretty, with magnolia in bloom and the first flowering cherry trees of the season.
It was quite a long walk there from our house, though, and we were quite exhausted. After a tempura lunch in a restaurant in the centre of the city we caught possibly my favourite temple, the relatively ramshackle and nondescript Todaiji, tucked down a side road but a place where I always feel strangely emotional and at home. The garden is more unkempt, it is certainly less ‘magnificent’ and dramatic, but to catch it at dusk, just fifteen minutes before it closed, with its cherry trees and tilting sunlight, was really intimate and beautiful.
There was also narcissus.