Monday, June 24, 2019

My favorite Ajisai lane and rite of passage

Late June is usually in the middle of a rainy season 
which lasts about one and a half months till mid-to-late July
but not yet in some regions including Nara this year.
The floral symbol of Japan's rainy season, Ajisai (Hydrangeas),
have looked tired in the sunshine and are withering relatively sooner.

There is a lovely Ajisai lane connecting the residential area of Mayumi and the Tomio River.
It is so narrow that only a compact car can barely pass through. 
Nice and quiet place to stroll around.

The forest of Ajisai runs along the south side of Chokyu-ji Temple.
  The temple was founded in 1276 by the Buddhihst high priest Gyoki 
 to commemorate and pray for Ono Mayumi Takeyumi 
who was killed by a stray arrow shot by his son.
From that incident, the temple was named 長弓寺 “Chokyu-ji”
meaning “長 long and 弓 arrow”.
It is close to the border of Ikoma and Nara Cities.
The spacious precinct is almost always calm.

Back to the path leaving the temple,
shall we continue to walk in the dappled shadow?

iPhone photo by my daughter

I guess the sight of a little child would be like this while walking through the path.

By the way, Koki of my brother-in-law was celebrated in the Ajisai season.
My sister and I have celebrated each other’s rite of passage including our spouses.

古希 Koki (70th birthday) is the second celebration for longevity 
following 還暦 Kanreki (60th birthday.)
The name derives from a verse by the Chinese poet 杜甫 Du Fu,
It means that the age of 70 was a rare occurrence.
Incidentally, the average life expectancy for Japanese men was 81.09 in 2018.

Creative Italian Cuisine of the Ristorante L'Olchestrata at the Nara New Public Hall

Wish you all healthy long life,
embracing Each Season of Life.

Linked to Mosaic Monday
Our World Tuesday
My Corner of the World


  1. This hydrangea lane is wonderful - they are huge and so beautiful. The little girl as a measure is nice. Congratulations to your brothe-in-law's birthday. Such a great tradition. Wishing you a lovely week.

  2. Hydrangeas are grown in gardens here but we have nothing like the spectacle you were able to enjoy. I'm glad to hear there are no stray arrows flying about these days. I passed my Kanreki without realising it.

  3. Hello, the hydrangea is beautiful. Lovely colors. The photo with the little one is adorable. The birthday celebration sounds wonderful. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy new week!

  4. I love Hydrangeas... and enjoyed this Post. Happy MosaicMonday

  5. The birthday celebration looks like fun and very tasty. Beautiful hydrangeas are thirsting for rain in my part of the world too so I'm hoping for rain this summer. Nowadays, living to be a hundred could be considered rare in many places but 70 years young is still a kid the way I see it. :)

  6. Dear Yoko ,today during lunch i was telling my hubby that my blogger friend from Japan posts MOST BEAUTIFUL IMAGES IN THE WORLD and you again made me speechless with your PRETTY AND GLORIOUS PICTURES!

    these blue flowers seems to come from my dreams as i can see them there only :)

    happy birthday to you and your sister my friend!

    i always hear about long age of Japanese and Chinese people and that they live more healthy physical and mental life compared to any other part of land

  7. The Hydrangeas are so beautiful - imagine pink, white and blue all flowering together. I can only grow the white and pink ones because I have alkaline soil, and the blue ones will only grow in acidic soil.
    What a lovely celebration you all had for your brother-in-law's Ajisai season.
    Sweet photo of your little granddaughter.

  8. Hello Dear Yoko!
    Hydrangeas are beautiful. I love these beautiful flowers yet I am not blooming.
    Yoko! your photos are always perfect, great.
    Happy Birthday.
    Hugs and greetings.

  9. Hydrangeas are my favorite flowers...they come in so many different colors! These sure have some big beautiful blooms! Enjoy your week!

  10. Such wonderful scenes and flowers! Looks like a great place to wander.

    1. I'm delighted to have you join 'My Corner of the World' this week!
      My Corner of the World

  11. Stardust - I always wonder about the hydrangea and how it can support so many blooms. It looks so heavy! Do you know anything about who planted them along the lane? The picture of the child admiring the flowers, as well as the photo taken as if from the child's perspective, are my favorites. Given that people are living longer, is there a third celebration for longevity at 80? Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!

    1. Thank you, Angie, for reading my post with interests.

      I’m not sure who planted the hydrangeas. The narrow lane runs beside a small mountain which belongs or belonged to the temple. So, I guess temple staffs or city staffs for landscaping.

      The third celebration for longevity is “Kiju (77)” followed by Sanjyu (80), Beijyu (88), Hakujyu(99), and lastly another Kijyu (100). Ki of the last “Kijyu” is “century”. As to the rite of passage from birth, there are Miyamairi (the first visit to shrine, about 1 month), Shichi-go-san (3, 5, 7) and Coming of Age (20).

  12. Congratulations to your brother in law on "Koki"! The celebration meal looks so beautiful and elegant.
    I'm sorry for the hydrangeas without enough water, but perhaps the rain will come soon and have a cooling effect. Meanwhile I hope that someone waters them. I have never seen a lane of hydrangeas but it is a wonderful idea. What you say about a "child's eye view" amuses me..... sometimes little A aged five, takes photos and of course they are from his viewpoint. They show giant people whose waists and legs are very noticeable, and tables almost on the level with your eyes. And it makes BENEATH the table seem so appealing and interesting! :) Please don't worry yourself about not responding to the email quickly. I myself am becoming worse and worse, and have an inbox half full of unanswered letters. I don't like sitting at the computer much, that's the problem, and there is always so much to do on it....

  13. こんにちわ


     『 人生七十古来稀 』 おめでとうございます。



  14. I hope the hydrangeas get their water soon, they all need enough to drink. We all need precious water to survive. Where I was growing up in England, many houses had hedges of hydrangeas. What a beautiful sight when they were all in flower, so many shades of blue, white and pink. Congratulations to your brother in law for Koki.... may he have many more important celebrations of his age. The Italian Cuisine that you are showing us is exquisite, so colourful.

  15. Preciosas hortensias Yoko. Por aquí están a punto de salir. Muy inda la foto con la niña. Esa celebración de los 70 tiene que seres muy especial.
    Buen jueves.
    Un abrazo

  16. Your kind wishes have reached us, Yoko, thank you very much.
    Is Kanreki (60th birthday) relevant for men's longevity only? I'm thinking of my birhday next year... Could you clarify this?
    Hydrangeas are abundant and beautiful. Do you know, they are common in Italy also? We are leaving for vacation there next week. Wishing you quiet peaceful not too hot July, dear Yoko.

    1. Kanreki and all the rite of passage are for both men and women. You can have your kanreki celebrated, Irina.
      I’m glad to know hydrangeas are common in Italy, too. You might know this; Hydrangea macrophylla is a species of hydrangea native to Japan. Their native habitat is half-shade in mountainous areas of Japan. In 19th century, a German Dr. Siebold took some varieties of Japanese Ajisai back home and introduced them in his Flora Japonica. In 20th century, gorgeous ajisai in various colors with larger flowers were hybridized in the western world and then returned home.

  17. nice article my friend..
    please visit my blog too

  18. Hello,I very like this wonderfull photos.I don´t saw so nice coloured hortezias.
    Congratulations to all celebrations. Eva from Czech Republic

    1. Than you Eva for your visit and this comment. I tried to visit your blog, but couldn’t find. Have a nice weekend.


  19. The Hydrangeas are wonderful flowers and they exist in so many colors.
    The photo with your granddaughter is divine.
    Congratulations to your brothe-in-law's birthday.
    All the best

  20. こんにちわ。

  21. I love the gorgeous colors of the hydrangeas and their full round bloom. Another lovely post and insight in your life. Thank you Yoko. :-)

  22. Happy weekend my dear😘💚💙

  23. Those lovely hydrangeas are in so many beautiful colors. The blossoms are huge! I wonder how many birthdays these bushes have passed? I feel like my 75th birthday was a rite of passage for sure. Sometimes, when I see myself in a mirror, I'm surprised at the old lady I see! I hope you're feeling well, Yoko.


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  26. You have very good sense. No wonder it is your favorite lane. Congratulations to you brother in law, Yoko.


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