Thursday, November 14, 2013

Autumn bonsai exhibition at Ryugasaki city

I went to autumn bonsai exhibition at Ryugasaki city.

I think Ryugasaki bonsai group is the best one in Ibaraki prefecture. I enjoy their exhibition every time.

In this exhibition, there are so many "yose-ue(several or many trees of one species)" style.

Yose ue has so many flowers.

As I have only tree bonsai, I enjoyed seeing flowers. Untitled

 So pretty.

I want to have one on my desk of my office.

After I bought a pancake lens and a PL filter, it's so fun to take photos.

 Hey, I really want to get it. Gentian.

I like this shape and color so much.

Moss ball is good for this flower.

Actually, I prefer to traditional bonsai like this.

Look at this great branches. Untitled 

How old is it? Fantastic!

This Jin and Shari also were great.

I cannot imagine how it was made.

I'm looking forward to the next exhibition. Untitled

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Konchi-in shrine in Kyoto

Konchi-in shrine is  near Nanzen-ji temple made by Iemitsu Tokunaga (August 12, 1604 – June 8, 1651), the third shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty. The shrine also has a big garden.
Tokugawa's shrine is known as "Tosho-in" in which  Tokugawa Ieyasu, first shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty, is enshrined with the name Tōshō Daigongen.

There's”Kame-jima" and "Tsuru-jima" on both hands of the garden. Kame(Tortoise) and tsuru(crane) are known as happy animals in Japan. So a lot of Japanese style garden has 2 islands shaped like these 2 animals.

Kame jima on left hands. Tree on the rock looks die but still alive. It has lived for over 400 years.
金地院 亀島 

Tsuru-jima on right hand. Square rock means crane's neck.
金地院 鶴島 

On the way leading to Tosho-gu, There's a garden with pond. I don't know you can see it, there's small waterfall beyond trees. I think it's designed to look larger than in reality.
金地院 庭園

 The road leading to Tosho-gu.
金地院 東照宮への道

金地院 東照宮

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Osugi shrine and Lake Kasumiga-ura

Osugi shrine, located in Inashiki city in Ibaraki, is unique shrine of  "Yume musubi" in Japan that makes your dream come true.
This shrine is also famous for its beautiful architecture.

It's rich in ornament.

It's really colorful, isn't it?

It seems a clip of Japanese old tale.

Golden dragon that braces the roof.

Green dragon that  guard the pole.

Sacred tree "Saburo Sugi".

And cat!!!!!!

I could pet her little bit.

After visiting the shrine, I went to Lake Kasumigaura, second largest lake in Japan. It takes less than 15 minutes from the shrine.

I was really scared when I took this photo because it was big windy day and there was no bar between lake and the road. I could see Mount Tsukuba on the opposite shore.

This is the road. So dangerous.....

I want to get there again when it's sunny and calm day. It might be so wonderful if I can see Mt. Tsukuba clearly.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Nanzen-in, japanese style garden near Nanzen-ji temple in Kyoto

Nanzen-ji temple is very famous for its big gate "San-mon" and the great view from there. The temple has beautiful japanese style garden "Nanzen-in".

This is my favorite alley located between Keage station and Nanzen-ji temple.  I think every japanese might feel nostalgic by seeing such an alley.

This is one of Japanese garden style that strolls garden with a central pond. Photo 

Looks so cold? That's right. It was extremely cold.

Behind the pond, there's small waterfall.

Building on the left is "Hojo", a square room, 1 jo (about 3.03 meter) on a side. On the other hand, there's a shrine with emperor Kameyama

Before the gate, there's water channel.

It's dangerous because there's no fence and easily fall.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ryotan-ji temple in Hikone city

After seeing Hikone castle, I went to Ryotan-ji temple, family temple of Naosuke Ii and Mitsunari Ishida. Both of them is famous in the history of Japan.

I met nobody en route to the temple. In the temple it seems there's also nobody so I came close to scream when a staff came out from the office at reception.

There's nobody in the temple, too...

Japanese style garden with stones. The stone with red scurf shaped like Buddha statue.

This is traditional style "Shakkei", borrowed scenery, incorporating background landscape into the composition of a garden. I think early spring shows much better scenery.

The room face to the garden above. I think it'll be a haunted room at night.


View Larger Map
Address 1104 Hurusawa-cho, Hikone, Shiga, Japan
Open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Close None
Fee Free
Web site
(Japanese only)

Friday, September 13, 2013

I met "Hico-nyan" at Hikone castle - representative "Yuru chara" of Japan

"Yuru chara" is heartwarming mascot-like character that devised for PR purposes by local government.
Hico-nyan is Hikone city's Yuru chara. He's very popular in Japan that is born to promote Hikone caslte's 400th anniversary for castellation.

He looks a cat("nyan" means mew in Japanese) so I really wanted to meet him for long time and finally I had a chance to go to Hikone castle early this year.

There is a room for meeting to Hiko nyan. It said everybody needs to stand in line waiting to enter the room.

But I didn't need to wait so long time. So many people sat down silently and waited for the moment.....

He's comiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnggggggg!!!!!

He moved so slowly to make good photo opportunity.

Can't you take a nice photo because of big audience? Don't worry, staff made us replace our position each other. Now there's nobody between Hiko nyan and me!

The biggest event is grooming by staff.

After meeting him, I walked up to see tower of the castle.

 The tower is great location overlooking Lake Biwako. It seems the sea.

Under the castle, there is a japanese garden called "Genkyu-en".

I had a tea at the tea room in the garden. I had Hikone's famous confection "Umore-gi" as snack to go with tea. It was fantastic.


View Larger Map
Address 1-1 Konki-cho, Hikone, Shiga, Japan
Open 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Close None
Fee Adult: 600YEN(Including Genkyu-in)
Web site