Nature & Culture of Japan

To make your trip to Japan more interesting

Culture Temples & Buddhism Religion

A Matsuo Basho’s haiku and its place where he composed (1) Iwama-dera (Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture)

There are many languages ​​in the world. I wonder why it is difficult for foreigners to communicate with each other. I think it’s a lot easier than before.

Scientific publications are allowed if they are translated faithfully anyway. But when it comes to literature, I think I have a lot of skill. And I think haiku is more difficult.

I have written haiku. It’s similar to a scientific experiment where you can enjoy the expansive sense of the season by putting your thoughts into a small box of 17 sounds 5-7-5 rhythms. There seem to be millions of haiku lovers in Japan, and I wrote a lot of haiku, but I have only won one award. I’m not good at it, so I won’t introduce it here.

In the 17th century, there was a famous poet named Matsuo Basho. He is known to have written phrases while traveling around. Among them, the following haiku is said to have been written at Iwama-dera in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture.

― 古池や蛙飛び込む水の音 furuiike ya kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto ―

There are 31 translations in the past in English. However, for me as a Japanese, there is nothing that can express the atmosphere of this phrase 100%. I think it can’t be helped.

If you are interested in Japanese haiku culture, please go there. However, there are no regular buses here and transportation is very inconvenient. Since there is a temple event on the 17th of every month, there is a free bus from Ishiyama Station, but I’m not sure if foreigners who don’t understand the language can be picked up.


Official website of the temple (Iwamadera) only in Japanese.

Please make sure information about the event and free bus.


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