After a quick stop for some fast-food udon noodles for lunch, our next destination was Manshuin. This temple seems to be little known, and I couldn’t find it in our guide books, but it was recommended to us by M, who said that her friend described it as so beautiful that it made him cry. The dry garden was indeed beautiful, with a pond and waterfall of raked gravel and finely manicured trees. Manshuin’s location, far off the usual tourist circuit, meant that there were only a few people there. Each Japanese guest seemed to have a dedicated tour guide, but we were left to our own devices. The temple does have an English pamphlet that describes its various features
If you look, you can see that the carpet on the viewing platform is red. This is because the season is spring and nature is clothed in green. In the fall as the leaves change to their various hues of orange, red, and yellow, the carpet is changed to a green one. As M said, it would be obscene to use the same color because it would compete with nature. Likewise, when the cherries are blossoming, you shouldn’t wear things with a cherry blossom motif, and you shouldn’t wear things with a maple leaf motif when the maple leaves are turning. Such things would be disrespectful to nature.