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In Ehime Prefecture on Shikoku Island, we invite you to contemplate the beauty of wa harmony in a beautiful moss garden in the heart of a cedar forest.
The wa (和) is a Japanese philosophical idea that means peace and harmony. It is the essence of Japanese culture that is in constant quest of harmony and balance to avoid discordance. This principle is found in all traditional Japanese arts, such as in the tea ceremony, but also in everyday life. The wa is a major element of the spiritual and traditional culture of Japan which seeks beauty in harmony.
A Moss Garden with Cedar Trees
In the heart of the Japanese countryside in Seiyo City, lies a beautiful garden created by a passionate person in search of harmony in the cedar forest. It took five years to transform the rice terraces into a moss garden. The different varieties of moss have been patiently cultivated and planted to create a beautiful patchwork of greens.
A stone slab path has been laid across the moss carpet to explore the traditional carvings and artwork displayed in the garden. To preserve the moss, be sure to walk on the stone slabs! During our visit, the autumn mist created a mystical atmosphere. We can return regularly to contemplate the change of the seasons, particularly in winter when the green of the moss is often replaced by the white of the snow.
Below the cafe, you can admire a traditional Japanese garden arranged around a small pond where you can find koi-fish carps. Unusually, we came across crabs that roamed the rocks!
After a beautiful, bucolic walk in the rain, we settled at Kokemushiro Café to get warm by the stove. Its simple, wooden cabin sits on stilts, blending harmoniously with nature and the coffee. With floor-to-ceiling windows, guests can enjoy Matcha green tea or coffee while admiring the garden view. Do not miss the chance to taste the delicious, traditional pastries. In good weather, you can enjoy the outdoor terraces in the shade of cedars.
Inside the cafe, there is also a small selection of crafts for sale and there are regular photo exhibitions. During our visit, we were able to admire photographs of the garden in different seasons.
Mushiro Café is located in Seiyo Town near Sekiji Pond. It is only accessible by car on Highway 56 between Unomachi and Ozu. Allow 15 minutes from Unomachi or Ozu.[cft format=0]