Friday, October 21, 2016

Touring around Tango Peninshula

Tango peninsula juts up the Sea of Japan on the northern coast of Kyoto Prefecture.

Day One

Amanohashidate (天橋立), literally meaning “bridge in heaven,” 
is a 3.6 kilometer long sand bar clad with numerous pine trees. 
It spans across Miyazu Bay and is one of Japan's three most scenic views 
along with Miyajima and Matsushima

We walked the land bridge under the canopy of pine trees or along the water's edge.

The land bridge is best viewed from the hillside on either the south or north side of it. 
The observation deck at the Kasamatsu Park on the north side is a birthplace of “upside-down viewing." 
Turn your back to the land bridge, bend forward, and look at it  between your legs.
When you see a dragon floating to heaven, you'll have a good luck.

By the way, Japanese two researchers were awarded Ig Novel Prize for investigating
 how people perceive distances when they bend over and look between their legs. 
According to the research, things look a little nearer and smaller.

Three-year-old Y did upside-down viewing well.

Yuhigaura (夕日ヶ浦)is at the western coast of the peninsula.
The coast is famous for the beautiful sunset on the horizon.
The sun wasn't seen that evening.
but the scenery was simply beautiful with the slightly reddening horizon
and the darkening blue sea.

Surfers go surfing to the Sea of Japan for bigger waves from autumn to winter.
Winter is the best season.

A leisurely time in the traditional Japanese Inn’s room with an open-air bath.  
We had a good night sleep. 

Day Two

Kotobikihama (琴引き浜) Beach is about 1800 meters long with singing sands.

The town of Ine (伊根) is at the western coast of the peninsula.
It is an important preservation district for the traditional structures of Funaya boat houses,
the first floor for boat-slit and the second for dwelling.
Many ships were out for fishing.

About 230 traditional structures are lined up for 5 kilometers along the Bay of Ine.

Two days before the trip, I cheered my granddaughters at the Sport Day event of their kindergarten.
Five-year-old F showed off group gymnastics, dance with color guard flags 
accompanying boys’ marching band, and relay; 
three-year-old Y ran a race and performed penguin dance. 
Two of them enjoyed fun games with their parents, too. 

While I enjoy each event with my families or friends in the lingering summer heat,
 season is progressing very slowly for sure.
The rest of October is also going to be eventful.
Keep tuned!

Linked to Friday Photo Journal

Friday, September 30, 2016

Between summer and autumn, 2016

Small red berries of Cornus officinalis, or Japanese cornel

September is going to be over.
In my part of the world, September has been almost rainy or cloudy.
The photo below was taken one of the few opportunities when blue sky appeared
with autumn clouds in the beginning of September.

Though summer lasts long this year,
the change of light and colors and the cooler temperature in mornings and evenings
have made me feel that season is moving forward.

Till around the Autumn Equinox Day, morning glories were still lingering in my neighborhood,

.....and in my garden, too.

When I walked around the precinct of Gango-ji Temple in Nara-machi,
it was raining on and off.

Between the Buddhist stone images, flowers play around.
The blooming of Japanese bell-flowers lasted from mid-summer.

Coreopsis tinctoria, or Golden tickseeds, too.

Hagi, or Japanese Bush Clover, is the first bloomer among the seven wild flowers of autumn.

There are about 2500 stone statues and stone towers of Buddhism
date back to 16th to 18th century.

At the end of the gravel path (photo above), there is a candle hold made of metal
which I've been attracted but almost no people pay attention as far as I have seen
as it is mostly hidden by the tree.

I guess these animals, people, and birds symbolize all creation
though I'm not sure.

Needless to say that the Buddhist stone statues have a soul,
I feel inanimate objects like these metal creatures have their own life.

These flowers are Anemone hypnosis's var. japonica, or Japanese anemone.

Yellowish green tells us the changing seasons in the summer-like weather.

At home, my husband and I let the most of the bell crickets free 
into our garden from the insect rearing cages as we do every year.
Some were left in a cage for the breeding next year.

A site about bell crickets, here.

The male (left) is singing, rubbing the wings together.
Another day, I saw bursting out of a Cosmos,
pristine white surrounded in pale yellow.

Today I can feel cool, crisp air I've been anxiously waited for.
As to the bursting out of vivid colors, it will take more time.
Linked to Friday Photo Journal 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Changing floral-scape at the ancient Fujiwara-kyo

Early autumn

Around the remains of the old Yakushi-ji Temple in the Fujiwara-kyo (694-710), 
the ancient Imperial Capital of Japan,
mass blooms of Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinth) are seen from mid-August to late September.

The moody weather with heavy rain clouds and strong wind was a perfect setting
to remind me of the mystery
why a great scale of Fujiwara-kyo was abandoned after only sixteen years
and why the all the structures were burnt down to ashes on year later
 the capital was moved to Heijyo-kyo in the current Nara City.

The pastel mauve fairies at the waterfront.

When patches of blue sky appeared, light shimmered both on the flowers and water.

Fujiwara-kyo site is located at the laid-back countryside 
in the circle of three small hill-like mountains of Yamato province, 
Mt. Kagu, Mt. Miminashi, and Mt. Unebi.

Mt. Unebi in the west
Fujiwara-kyo must have been the total grandeur as was revealed by the recent investigation; 
“it covered an area of roughly 5 km and was surrounded by walls roughly 5 m high. 
Each of the four walls had three gates; Suzakumon, the main gate, stood at the center of the south wall. 
The Daigokuden (Emperor's Audience Hall) and other palace buildings were the first palace structures 
in Japan to have a tile roof in the Chinese style.”

Archaeological excavations was started in 1934. 
The remains of various offices as well as nearly 10,000 wooden tablets 
inscribed with Chinese characters have been discovered.

July 21

From July to mid-August, prior to the blooms of water hyacinth, Lotus flowers bloom 
around the remains of the Imperial Audience Hall. 
As the flower of Buddha’s Pure Land, they look consoling the souls 
sleeping underground which turned to the nature.

Both flowers and leaves rise up from the muddy water to the light.

In 1951 Japanese palae-botanist Dr. Oga discovered three lotus seeds during an archaeological dig.
The seeds turned out to be 2000 years old. 
Dr. Oga germinated the remaining seed to flower in 1952. 
The lotus was named after Dr. Oga and is now widespread throughout Japan. 
One of eleven species flowering at this place is Oga lotus, descendents from the ancient time.

Some hundred meters north beyond the Lotus area lies flowering meadow of yellow summer cosmos.

Mt. Miminashi in the north
Different flowers create different atmosphere.
Bright yellows and oranges look able to counter the scorching summer sun.

With a leaf of "Kudzu", or arrowroot.

The contrast of light and shadow

Mornings and evenings have gotten cooler but it's still sultry in the daytime 
with the hottest temperature about 30 degrees.
As the floral carpet changes with the changing seasons,
 the area will be covered with shades of pink of autumn cosmoses soon.