A Japanese Tea Garden in Second Life

Shareta Osumai Tea Gardens - links in article; click any image for full size
Shareta Osumai Tea Gardens – links in article; click any image for full size

As we all know, the Moles are the resident builders of Second Life who form the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW). They take care of all the major Mainland infrastructure projects, up to and including activity locations such as PaleoQuest, The Horizons Experience, and other reached via the Portal Parks.

February tends to be Mole Month, with the annual Mole Day taking place in Bay City, celebrating the work of the Moles. 2017 has also been especially poignant for the Moles, as their long-term Mole-In-Chief, Linden Lab’s own Michael Linden, departed the company for pastures new. This being the case, I thought I’d take a little time out occasionally to visit some of the more notable Mole builds in Second Life which may not be as obvious as the “big” places like the Horizons Experience – and a good place to start, thanks to an indirect nudge from Kinnaird Flachra, seemed to be the Shareta Osumai Tea Gardens.

Shareta Osumai Tea Gardens - links in article; click any image for full size
Shareta Osumai Tea Gardens

The Tea Gardens can be found in three locations in Second Life: in the Premium East continent (which also includes Cape Ekim, and the mystery of dragons and Professor Linden, which I first visited far back in 2013), and at Premium South 2 and Premium South 3. All three locations, unsurprisingly, are identical, and form part of the hub for the Japanese themed Linden Homes.

The major feature of the gardens is the pagoda tea house which sits alongside and ornamental pond fed by a stream which tumbles and meanders down from nearby uplands. The tea house is set within a fenced garden, filled with autumnal trees and offering cobbled paths for wandering, the stream cross by delicately arched bridges, and with a small sand garden or meditation.  Those not wishing to walk can catch a ride around the garden on a mole-pulled ricksaw.

Shareta Osumai Tea Gardens - links in article; click any image for full size
Shareta Osumai Tea Gardens

Beyond the garden is a broader area of trees and cobbled walks to be enjoyed and, northwards, lies a path winding up into the hills to the local Info Hub, where various freebies can be obtained and people can learn about Linden Homes. This path, winding via stone steps, also leads the way via  Mole Temple – which (and while it didn’t contain anywhere near as many statues) reminded me a little of the Temple of 10,000 Buddhas, Shatin, Hong Kong.

It’s easy to be dismissive of the Linden Home continents – I’m not a great fan of many of the house styles myself, and do find myself wishing more was done to blend the edges of some more naturally into the sea where they form the edge of the grid – but areas such as the Shareta Osumai Tea Gardens, Cape Ekim and others scattered across these regions offer little gems awaiting discovery.

Mole Temple close to the Tea Gardens
Mole Temple close to the Tea Gardens

SLurls and Links

All the tea garden areas are rated Moderate

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