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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winter charms of Lake Biwa


Lake Biwa has been one of my family's favorite travel destinations.  We have travelled around Lake Biwa many times and found charms of its own in spring, summer, and autumn, and now I found the charms of winter.


Some 12000 rape blossoms carpet the 4000-square-meter Nagisa Park by the lake till the middle of February.  The flowers are Kanzaki-hanana, species of early rape blossoms. Hira Mountains are seen beyond the lake.  The contrast of winter and spring, snow-capped Hira Mountains and yellow rape blossoms, is fantastic.






Nagisa Park is located at the coastal area of Lake Biwa in Moriyama City.  Waterfront and flowers are two of the elements I like and when another element, snow-capped mountains, is added, it's perfectly lovely.  It was a very cold day with the highest temperature 5 degrees C but my heart was warm and cheerful under the blue skies.




a fishing boat

Lake Biwa is Japan’s largest freshwater lake and is relied upon to supply water for 14 million people in the vicinity and downstream urban regions including Osaka as well as industrial and agricultural uses within the watershed. The shores of Lake Biwa are alive with exquisite nature, rich wildlife of more than 1,100 species of animals and plants recoreded, history and culture.  It is one of the most important lakes in the world in terms of natural history and biodiversity.  (WWF - Lake Biwa)




 
Leaving Nagisa Park, my husband and I drove south to the Lotus colony at Karasuma Peninsula in Kusatsu City.  (A large colony of lotus at Lake Biwa)




Blooms of lotus from July to August

When lotus leaves begin to turn brown in autumn, the lotus is beginning to go dormant for the winter. Above the water line, they die back naturally.  They were forming lovely geometric patterns and reflections.  Don’t you think?  






In summer, this area is a thick aqua-grove of lotus. This plain appearance of winter enables you to see many waterfowl.






The coastal area of the lake is important wintering areas for waterfowl with over 50,000 birds arriving each year. 



There is beauty, peace, and richness in these desolate winter scenes. BECAUSE I know the beauty of flowers, lush greeness, colored leaves, or fruitfulness, I see beauty in the absence of apparent beauty and stark simplicity all the more.  No comparison: each season has its own beauty.



 I like it when a scene looks like a line drawing of a pale wintry landscape.

summer view of the same place with the photo above

This post is linked to Our World.

48 comments:

  1. To prawda, że każda pora roku ma swoje uroki i czaruje innymi widokami. Tym postem oczarowałaś nas widokiem rzepaku i ośnieżonych gór, widokami na jezioro i ptactwem wodnym. Pozdrawiam serdecznie.
    It is true that each season has its own charms and enchants other views. In this post we view rape ravished and snow-capped mountains, views of the lake and water birds. Yours sincerely.

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  2. Son unas fotos preciosas. Muchas gracias por la información, gracias a ella, conocemos un poco más el paisaje, la flora y costumbres del Japón.
    Un abrazo.

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  3. Todo lo que has puesto es realmente muy bello. Es un foto-reportaje magnífico.
    Abrazos.

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  4. Lucky Yoko,
    some of your Japanese winter photos look like warm German springtime!
    Fields of rape start flourishing somewhen middle of April in southern Germany or even later if you go more to the north.
    We have some ponds with lotos plants to Germany, but in autumn time you have to remove all the plants and overwinter them in a frost-free greenhouse. Today we have very mild temperatures above 10°C, but soon winter (what we call winter) with much lower temperatures will come back.
    Enjoy your springlike wintertime, dear Yoko, and take many great photos like these!
    Uwe.

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    Replies
    1. The rape blossom scenes might have given impression “springlike wintertime”, but they are special species, winter blooming one. We have some winter-flowering trees which bloom even in the frigid cold. This year we are experiencing very cold winter and the days with temperature higher than 10 degrees C is few. We have little snow in spite of the bitter cold due to geographical reason.

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  5. もう菜の花ですか。とてもきれいですね。写真もいつも美しいです。。

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  6. The simple pallet of colour in these images is lovely. The first blue, yellow and white - my favourite combination of colours, and the others in blue and natural shades of brown and beige - perfect.

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  7. Yokoさん こんにちは。
     愛らしい菜の花畑の向こうに見える雪化粧の山系とその中腹にたなびく雲。澄んだ優しい静けさをたたえる湖面に、冬枯れの蓮の茎。おしゃられるとおり、それぞれの季節ごとの美しさを愛する洋子さんの気持ちがしっかり伝わってきます。
     軟派な私なら、恐らく寒さに負けて写真撮影を撤収しそうですが、アウトドアー派Yokoさんの真骨頂を発揮されていてすばらしと思います!
     

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  8.  こんばんは。こんな美しい琵琶湖の写真を見たのは初めてです。感動しました、プロの写真家が撮った様な素晴らしさです。。またOur World で隣合わせになりました。
     不思議な巡り合わせですね。

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  9. Your photo essays are pure poetry.
    I'm glad I met her because you have the ability
    to show me how beautiful the world and in this case
    how beautiful your country, Japan.
    thanks.
    Ciao
    Loretta

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  10. Amazing place is Lake Biwa. The Life of Birds is a sign of a clean environment. Glad I got to know this place through your photos. Have a nice day! Peter.

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  11. A sea of gold...i would love to see the lotus in bloom.this is very interesting to see the real Japan!

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  12. What gorgeous shots of the lake in winter - love the clouds floating just above.

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  13. Beautiful series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  14. You really make me want to visit your beautiful country. It appears from the most beautiful side.
    So beautiful with the yellow fields, especially, I crave color now that winter is here.
    Lotus flowers are so beautiful.
    Wish you a nice day.

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  15. The vast expanse of yellow blooms is wonderful to see, especially this time of year. The lotus blossoms are lovely but so are your pictures of the area in winter with the spent lotus blossoms. Thanks for the tour.

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  16. Thank-youfor introducing me to Lake Biwa. I love your photos of the rape blossom with the white capped mountains in the background.

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  17. "I see beauty in the absence of apparent beauty"
    This is a deep and beautiful statement, Yoko!
    I love to see Japanese beauty through your photos!
    What a wonderful lake! Even in winter!
    Cheers,
    Márcia

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  18. Hi,Stardust
    The Biwa lake shows various beauties through a year. You have brought me such beautiful views.Thank you verrry much! I have been sticking to my chair during daytime since my careless accident,ten days ago. I am getting bored though I have plenty of time.
    Have a good day.
    Tomoko

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    Replies
    1. I hope you’re feeling better and better day by day. To look at the bright side, you can use your hands and eyes not to make you feel bored. See you soon.

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    2. Thank you! I will try that...See you soon.
      Tomoko

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  19. As you say … every season has its charms and you have certainly opened my eyes to the beauty of winter through your photos and thoughts. Although it can be a wonderland, it is still cold … especially at night. If I had known of my grown daughter’s plans to camp outdoors without adequate shelter, I would have tried to prevent it. Learning about it after the fact all I can do is hope she and her friend did not catch cold!

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  20. もう菜の花がこんなに咲いてるんですか。春のようです。でもそういえば、八百屋さんに、なばながならんでました。おしたしにしたら、春を感じました。雪を戴いた比良山も明るいです。蓮の間を縫うみずどりがかわいいですね。

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    Replies
    1. ここの菜の花は真冬に咲きだす品種です。カメラマンたちがたくさんいました。バスツアーもあるようですが、早くに予約するのでお天気が心配です。通勤ラッシュを避ければ自宅からなぎさ公園までは1時間半ほどで行けました。思い立てば行ってください。サラさんの運転なら大丈夫! 

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  21. Through your pictures and words, I am beginning to like the season of winter and see beyond what meets the eye. "I see beauty in the absence of apparent beauty and stark simplicity all the more", I will remember them, golden words that define what real beauty is. Those dormant lotus leaves indeed look like geometrical patterns, so artistic and natural. I also love the cute waterfowls peeping through them.

    Lake biwa reminded me of the aqueduct in the Nanzenji temple precincts. Am I correct?

    Wish you happy days, Yoko! :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, that aqueduct is part of the Lake Biwa canal which has brought water from the lake to Kyoto more than 100 years.

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  22. such beautiful mountain scenes and grassy marshes. but those yellow rape fields surely take the prize.

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  23. ほんとに絵葉書の様な美しさ!黄色は早春にピッタリの色ですね。希望の輝きのようです。
    冬枯れの中に美しさを見る・・・Yokoさんから教えられることは多いです。それぞれの季節がそれぞれ美しいように、人も鳥も木も草も皆同じですね。最後から2番目は、まさに素描のようですね。すばらしい写真です。

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    Replies
    1. 春、夏、秋の美しさを知っているがゆえに、冬枯れの美しさにも目を奪われます。四季のある国に生まれて幸せだと思います。そうですよね、生きるということは、人も鳥も木も草も同じだし、春夏秋冬のようにみんな違ってみんないいんですよね。

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  24. What spectacular scenery. So beautiful to see the snowy mountains overlooking the lake.

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  25. You know well about the spots which are good for eye on the long coastline. Nature is so tender that the dormant lotus colony enable to see these lovely waterfowl.Your description is superb.

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  26. I didn't know this area. The sight is beautifull and everything seems to be very quiet.

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  27. Magic place, so beautifully captured!

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  28. Yes Yoko,there certainly is beauty in all seasons and in all weather conditions.There's an amazing luminous quality about an expanse of rape flowers against blue sky.....or even dark blue sky,which intensifies the yellow glow (here I'm thinking of my local fields in Spring!). I intend at some point to paint this. You've captured so well the linear patterns and detail in the dry stalks and reflections.
    Thank you for sharing your lovely photos.
    Enjoy your week,

    Ruby

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  29. Dear Yoko,

    Thank for another absolutely wonderful post...entrancing and enchanting! Such a beautiful lake, mountains and flowers. Almost surreal. I also love the water and the mountains and my favorite shot here is the boat on the water with the mountains in the background.

    Hope that all goes well with you.

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  30. What a beautiful place! Spectacular shots!

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  31. What a wonderful hydro biotope beloved friend Yoko!
    With your wonderful photos, I made a wonderful tour and to thank you very much!
    I send you many kisses
    and many greetings to all your family! I wish you, the best for your daughters!

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  32. Beauty within abundance, beauty within simplicity: what a beautiful apposition of the two contrasts! The richness of the yellow rape blossom is striking in the middle of winter, same as the austerity of apparently dead lotuses and quivering reed. And both landscapes painted on the sky's cold-blue curtain. Winter really has a poetry of its own!

    Reading your sentence "I see beauty in the absence of apparent beauty and stark simplicity all the more" made me realize I've never seen an ugly sight or landscape if shaped and controlled (I couldn't find a better word) by nature. Only us, human beings, are capable to bedraggle nature. And also uplift it sometimes...
    I missed reading you, dear Yoko. My best of wishes and have sunny days ahead alongside your family and especially your lovely "maelstrom"!

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  33. What a difference a season make, from a desolate winter landscape to one teeming with life in summer. The fourth last photo of ducks among the reeds is an artistic one, almost like a painting.

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  34. Hello, stardust.

     Your work is embraced in your gentleness.
     Sharing a moment of peace.
     It is a joy for all.

     Your heart warm message in the cold.
     I always give mind of thanks to you.

    Greeting.
    Have a good weekend. ruma❃

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  35. É sempre um grande encantamento aqui.
    Adorei.

    Lindos dias para você.

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  36. There is a great beauty in winter landscapes.

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  37. º° ✿彡
    Olá!
    Belas fotos de paisagens.
    Obrigada pela viagem virtual, assim conheço um pouco do seu lindo país.
    Bom domingo! Boa semana!
    Beijinhos do Brasil
    ✿ °•.¸
    ¸.•°♡⊱彡

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  38. For someone living where winter is snow and frost, this is incomprehensible. Special thanks for ducks, tremendous picture!!!
    I've recently discovered a new Japanese author, Yoko. When you've got a minute, would you have a look? I care about your opinion. The title of the post is "Touch it and the bloom is gone..."

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  39. Your blog is beautiful...your country, gorgeous !
    Have a great day !
    Anna

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  40. Rape blossoms might seem simple alone, but when they form a field, they're a mighty beauty.

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  41. I Googled "kanzaki-hanana" after you left a comment on my blog, and guess what ... Google suggested your post! :) I missed this one because it was during my holiday in South Africa. Thanks for being my flower sensei and sharing these stunning photos! PS: I also like the photo that looks like a drawing of a winter landscape.

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