While the garden is lovely and tranquil, our favorite part about visiting the Old Daijoin Temple Garden was the Heritage Center. The center had a calligraphy exhibition on view which was lovely. The people working at the center were delightful and very excited that we showed interested in their work. In the center’s tea room there was a group of women dressed in pretty kimonos who were serving dessert and tea. The women were ecstatic once we finally worked up the nerve to venture into their domain. They rushed to make sure we were comfortable and then spent a half hour or so chatting with us. It would be fair to say that we were just as interested in them as they were in us. The women were eager to let us in on the best things Nara had to offer, specifically the locally grown foods. They even rustled up some Clementine oranges and a persimmon for us to take back to our hotel. These ladies were the model of hospitality and if I had not already fallen in love with Japan this experience sealed the deal. If you pass by the Daijoin Temple Garden stop in, you may just stumble into a charming new world.
I recently took a trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden where I had an immensely good time exploring the Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America. These miniature gardens are filled with all things tiny, I felt right at home. The great thing about this garden, other than the fact that it is full of small things, is that it depicts great American landmarks using many natural materials.
I highly recommend that you take a stroll through the Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America the next time that you visit Chicago Botanic Garden. You will find it more than charming and should you have any questions, just ask one of the wonderful engineers who will be more than thrilled to help you.