光明寺の桜 Cherry blossoms at Komyoji Temple

端正な光明寺八角堂

karesansui garden_koumyoji_kamakura

鎌倉材木座海岸から歩いて数分、浄土宗大本山の光明寺。大規模な山門の奥に広がる、開放的なお寺です。
数年前までは境内に多くの猫さんがいましたが、今はのどかな猫さんたちの姿はありませんでした。
現存する鎌倉の木造建築として最大規模の本堂は現在、改装中。全容を見ることはできません。
私は本堂脇の蓮池を囲むように造影された枯山水庭園が好きで、季節ごとに足を運んでいます。
渡り廊下から小堀遠州作と伝えられている庭園を眺めていると、日々の些事から開放され、心が穏やかになるようです。
庭園の奥まった小高い一角、目を引くのが端正な佇まいの八角堂です。
初層は方形、二層が八角堂。屋根に鎌倉唯一の鳳凰が見えます。

枝や幹の切り落とし

訪れたのは3月下旬、花曇りの午後でした。
前述のように本堂工事中ということから、本堂に接した桜は枝や幹の多くが切り落とされていました。
それだけではなく、何本かの老桜もまた、大胆に枝が詰められています。
桜の名所として知られてきた鎌倉霊園やハイランド、鎌倉山などの桜並木も同様の現象が見られます。
鎌倉市都市景観部みどり公園課によると、数年前の大型台風で多くの樹木が倒壊するなど、甚大な被害が発生したことから、行政や地権者自らの判断で整備が進められたり、電力線や通信ケーブル保護の観点から枝や幹の切り落としが進んでいるとのお話でした。

光明寺境内の桜

それでもなお、境内には山桜、染井吉野、玉縄桜などの美しい開花が見事でした。
満開桜の壮観な全容には恵まれなくても、細部に目を注ぐと、小さく静かな季節の美しさを発見することができました。

鎌倉光明寺、稲荷社奥の山桜

English

The neat octagonal hall of Komyoji Temple

A few minutes’ walk from Kamakura Zaimokuza Beach is Komyoji Temple, the head temple of the Jodo sect of Buddhism. This open-air temple stretches behind a large temple gate.
Until a few years ago, there were many cats in the precincts of the temple, but now there are no peaceful cats to be seen.
The main hall, the largest existing wooden structure in Kamakura, is currently under renovation. It is not possible to see the whole building.
I like the karesansui garden surrounding the lotus pond at the side of the main hall and visit there every season.
Looking at the garden, which is said to have been created by Enshu Kobori, from the corridor, I feel at peace and free from the trivialities of daily life.
At the far end of the garden, in a small, elevated corner, the eye-catching octagonal hall with its elegant appearance is a must-see.
The first level is square, and the second level is octagonal. The only phoenix in Kamakura can be seen on the roof.

Cutting off branches and trunks

It was a flowery cloudy afternoon in late March when I visited.
As mentioned above, the main hall was under construction, so many of the branches and trunks of the cherry trees bordering the main hall had been cut off.
Not only that, several old cherry trees also had their branches boldly trimmed.
The same phenomenon can be seen in the rows of cherry trees in Kamakura Cemetery, Highland, and Mt. Kamakura, which have been known as famous cherry blossom viewing spots.
According to the Green Park Section of the City of Kamakura’s Urban Landscape Department, since a large typhoon several years ago caused extensive damage, including the collapse of many trees, maintenance is being carried out at the discretion of the administration and landowners themselves, and branches and trunks are being cut off to protect power lines and communication cables.

Cherry blossoms in the precincts of Komyoji Temple

Nevertheless, the beautiful blooms of mountain cherry blossoms, Somei-Yoshino, and Tamanawa cherryblossoms were still magnificent in the precincts of the temple.
Even though we were not blessed with the full splendor of cherry blossoms in full bloom, we were able to discover the small, quiet beauty of the season by focusing on the details.

Kamakura Komyoji Temple, mountain cherry blossoms at the back of Inari Shrine.
Somei-Yoshino beside the bell tower at Komyo-ji Temple in Kamakura
Somei-Yoshino beside the bell tower at Komyo-ji Temple in Kamakura.
Kamakura Komyoji Temple, gate and cherry blossoms.