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Flowers and Kappa at Josen-ji Temple

Somewhere, not so far away, is a small Buddhist temple where the flowers bloom year round. The gardens are planned with care, so that regardless of the season everyone who sets foot on the temple grounds are greeted with the beauty of flowers. (Continued after the Japanese summary)

お花の寺、常泉寺

神奈川県大和市にある常泉寺で撮った写真を記載したいと思います。常泉寺は「花のお寺」として知られ、お花が大好きなので行ってみました。広くはない お寺ですが、そこで見つけたのは、大師像や河童を含む小さくて可愛らしい像がたくさん!河童は可愛すぎてメロメロでした♪ 一か所でこんなにかっぱが集まっているのが初めてだったので「おお~」とびっくりして嬉しかった^^ やはり可愛いですね♪ お花と一緒に撮ってみました ^^ 

地図を印刷せず行ってみましたが、最寄り駅から歩いて途中で分からなくなって近所の方に指図を聞いてしまいました(笑) 季節によって表情が変わるので何度か行ってみたいお寺です。

Flowers at Josen-ji

The temple is called Jousen-ji 常泉寺. There are several temples in Japan with the same name, but the one we’re talking about here is located in Yamato City, Kanagawa Prefecture. The temple’s known to have a nice garden full of flowers.

Flowers at Josen-ji. The gardeners make sure there is something blooming each season.

Flowers at Josen-ji. The gardeners make sure there is something blooming each season.

Spotted bellflower ホタルブクロ

Spotted bellflower ホタルブクロ

Kashiwa hydrangea カシワバアジサイ

Kashiwa hydrangea カシワバアジサイ

Crocosmia or falling stars ヒメヒオウギズイセン

Crocosmia or falling stars ヒメヒオウギズイセン

Flowers at Josen-ji. The gardeners make sure there is something blooming each season.Spotted bellflower ホタルブクロKashiwa hydrangea カシワバアジサイCrocosmia or falling stars ヒメヒオウギズイセン

Water Sprites or Kappa 河童

I went there to find the cutest little things! They include the kappa, a type of water sprite in Japanese folklore that looks like a cross between a frog and a salamander :D

These legendary creatures go both ways. Their malevolent side is drowning or even eating children and other horrible acts; but they’re also said to have a benevolent side (helping farmers, teaching medicine, etc).

A kappa standing guard

A kappa standing guard

Kappa staying cool in the summer heat :)

Kappa staying cool in the summer heat :)

Kappa carrying bags

Kappa carrying bags

Wrestling kappa

Wrestling kappa

A kappa standing guardKappa staying cool in the summer heat :)Kappa carrying bagsWrestling kappa

In the olden days small children were supposedly warned not to dive into the river because “the kappa will drown you”. It does somehow make sense to me to tell hard-headed little children not to get deep into the river because the kappa will pull them in. Just dishing the “you could drown in the strong current” type of explanation will probably not make as much of an impact :)

Kappa holding a fish

Kappa holding a fish

Parent and child kappa

Parent and child kappa

Kappa behind flowers

Kappa behind flowers

Kappa sitting and relaxing

Kappa sitting and relaxing

Meditating kappa

Meditating kappa

Kappa holding a fishParent and child kappaKappa behind flowersKappa sitting and relaxingMeditating kappa

I asked my husband, who is Japanese, his impression of the kappa and he said “non-existent creatures that are said to be mischievous” :)

Jousen-ji is one of the temples that honor the good kind of kappa. I do hope places like these will last for a long time.

Stone Statues or Ojizou-sama お地蔵さま

Along with the kappa, there were plenty of ojizou-sama or stone buddhas.

What a sunny smile!

What a sunny smile!

Among the greens

Among the greens

Under the shade of the trees.

Under the shade of the trees.

Behind the flowers.

Behind the flowers.

With reindeer-like horns.

With reindeer-like horns.

What a sunny smile!Among the greensUnder the shade of the trees.Behind the flowers.With reindeer-like horns.

I found Josen-ji to be a small place but utterly charming. With so many plants and flowers and little statues, it was a place I could stay at all day long :)

When to Go

To check which flowers are blooming at any month, click here.

The temple opens at 9:00 and closes at 17:00. There is an admission charge of JPY 300 for adults and JPY 150 for junior high school and younger children.

拝観時間
開門 午前9時
閉門 午後5時(入場は4時まで)
 
拝観料(守華代)
高校生以上  300円
小・中学生  150円

What to Bring

Shooting with a monopod/tripod is not allowed (understandable since the place is pretty small). You might want to bring insect repellant as there were mosquitos flying about.

カメラ用の一脚三脚は使用できません。場所が狭いのでどうしようもないですね。虫除けスプレーを持参したほうがいいと思います。植物がぎっしり植えられ池もあるため蚊が飛んでいました。

How to Get There


View 常泉寺 in a larger map

7 min walk from the west exit of Kouza-Shibuya station on the Odakyu Enoshima line.

小田急江ノ島線高座渋谷駅西口下車 徒歩7分

I Would Love to Hear from You!

So, what do you think of this article? Please share your thoughts and opinions in the Comments section below.

この記事についてのご意見・ご感想を是非、お聞かせください!コメント欄↓に書きこんで頂けると幸いです!

External Links

神奈川県大和市の常泉寺 – 公式サイト Josen-ji official site in Japanese.

Books to Consider

関連書籍

Other Articles on BC Discoveries

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4 comments

  1. noritan /

    ローカルで静かそうなお寺ですね。
    カッパの像がかわいいです。

    • beverlyclaire /

      面積的に狭かったが植物と小さな像がたくさんあってとても魅力的でした。四季を楽しめる庭に囲まれているお寺ですので、また秋にも行きたいですね^^

  2. That statue wearing a hood and those kappa have appropriate fishy/froggy mouths.

    • beverlyclaire /

      Hi Ellen! Yes, froggy indeed :) I had a viewer on Google+ whose one-word comment was “Kermit!” Hardeehar!

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