The narrow path that winds off into the cushion-like shrubs doesn't look as astonishing as the way ahead, where a Buddhist stone pagoda stands tall and there is an alluring sound of a waterfall in the distance. However, there is something about that winding path that piques my curiosity, and as I follow it through the rolling bushes I suddenly get the sensation that I am walking among clouds.

Surprised by this feeling of floating lightness I wander back and forth, before letting the path lead me out to a veranda overlooking a lake formed from glistening white gravel, the green clouds I just walked through easing around it.

On the wooden bench next to me, here in the flat garden (hira niwa), there is a young man sketching. Respecting his moment, I silently absorb the stillness of the softly raked ripples around the islands in the lake.