Monday, September 1, 2014

A Trip to Japan.....Not Quite

We have been in Penticton for a couple days visiting my Mother. This morning after breakfast, she asked if I would take her to the Optometrist’s to pick up her new glasses. Since her car has not been used for a couple months she suggested we take it, and loading her and her walker up we shortly found ourselves at the clinic.

This office is located about seven or eight miles from her house, and she has been using them for several years. Her glasses had been ready for a couple weeks, but she hadn’t gotten around to picking them up.

It’s a fairly large office and a number of Doctors practice there. When I delivered her to the clinic, she suggested I look at the Japanese Garden across the street. I wasn’t even aware there was a Japanese Garden.

The sign also lists Penticton’s sister city.  Ikeda is a city of about 100,000 located in Osaka prefecture. There is a link to some information here.

There are a few entrances to the garden. By far the most impressive of them is accessed across a bridge over Penticton Creek and through a sort of Torii Gate.  Once across the bridge one encounters a stand of Bamboo.

Along one wall there are several largish murals representing historical scenes of Penticton. This one shows a Canadian Pacific Railway engine stopped outside the Incola Hotel which was constructed and operated by CP starting in 1912. It was demolished in 1981.

This picture shows Penticton’s first Fire Hall which was built in 1926. It was a big step up for the City of Penticton when the first dedicated building for the Fire Department was opened.

There is a color mural of the mountain North and West of town in the direction of Summerland. It is a depiction of the mountain known as the Giant’s Head. It isn’t so much accurate as it is colorful.

There is a mural of the old Canadian Pacific lake steamer Sicamous. This relic is now permanently moored onshore at North end of town, adjacent to the river channel. The channel is a popular destination for floating during the summer. Tubes can be rented for a lazy float three miles down from Okanagan to Skaha lake.

There is a Japanese styled shed at one of the garden entrances together with a tree which has been artfully pruned. I always refer to these as “Cloud Trees”.  They always tickle my funny bone since we live in a heavily treed area, and none of them look like this.

There is also a statue of a fellow stretching. I imagine he is “saluting the sun” or some such nonsense. I’m sure this is inspiring to some. I found it interesting, but not captivating.

  Once you round the corner there is a large reflecting pool. It is deeper at one end and has a square platform reached by an angled walk.

There are the requisite koi in the deep end of the pond. These are some pretty decent specimens, probably almost a foot and a half long and brightly colored.

Placed around the garden are a number of memorial benches. These all have plaques which list the person memorialized and are place at point to allow for rest and quiet contemplation. There is another of those delightful “Cloud Trees” in front of the wall.

Here is another Torii Gate that leads to another area of the garden. There is a transition from paved to gravel path at this point, and narrows to provide a more intimate feeling for the pedestrian, after the expansive feeling of the open patio in front of the gate

There is a small Pagoda Styled Lantern tucked away in the trees. It provides a humorous counterpoint here sitting as it does adjacent to the large tree. It is tucked back from the path and is an appealing vista.  

There is a large slab of rock in a sea of Bark Mulch. It seems to speak of solidity and tranquility in the midst of a hostile and unpredictable world. It simply sits quietly waiting.

There is a cobbled style walk leading to the edge of the pond which is very much shallower at this point. This is a very placid view indeed, and one can easily imagine one’s self far away...perhaps in Japan.

There is another Torii Gate leading onto a parking lot. This is much more traditional and very pretty. Perhaps on my next visit I will park and come through this gate.

This is a view looking down the pond toward downtown Penticton. The building in the background is the Penticton Art Gallery, which I didn’t have time to visit this time.

As you continue along the path there is yet another Torii style gate and a log handrail over a bridge where the outlet of the pond flows out to Lake Okanagan. There is a variety of Cypress tree at this gate, which I have always called a “Heffalump Tree”. The name comes from a Winnie the Pooh story.

Just past the aforementioned bridge, one can turn about a hundred and sixty five degrees to the right and catch a glimpse of another Pagoda Style Lantern with the Lake in the background. It is a happy picture with which to end our stroll through the garden as I needed to get back to the Clinic and collect mother. Her new glasses were fitted and she was ready to head home.

We will be here for a few days, then heading back to the Wet Coast. Thanks for coming along to visit the Penticton Ikeda Japanese Garden.


Patricia Carpenter said...

Very pretty garden......:-). We'll have to go and stay a while the next time we visit in the Spring.

April Baucom said...

Lovely. In Lawton, we have a sister city in Germany.

Trobairitz said...

Thanks for the pics of he Eyecare Centre. I worked there for almost 3 years before we moved down. A walk down memory lane for sure.

There were no gardens across the street back in 2001. Neat to see. Thank you.

Scootard said...

Brandy the gardens were formerly a industrial dumping ground. I prefer the current iteration. Interesting that you worked at the Eye Care Center.