Two treasures

One is the traditional festival

春日若宮おん祭り(The festival of Kasuga-Wakamiya-Shrine)was held from December15 to 18 this year,too. This festival continues for 877 years. The highlight of the festival is on the 17th. The Divine of Kasuga-Wakamiya-Shrine leave the usual palace at 0:00a.m. on the 17th and come in the tentative palace. The grass stage is made in front of the tentative palace.
Many people in old day's costumes start to parade at the noon and after that   People devote their traditional dance performance on the grass stage to show the Divine till around 11:00p.m. They dance many kind of Japanese traditional dances. This is the festival of the oldest performing arts in Japan.
If  you'd like, please watch the last year's blog about the parade, click here.
I left there around at 9:00p.m. in the middle of the performance  last year. So to watch that sequel I went there around at 8:00p.m.this year.


                                        A dancer who is dancing in front of the tentative palace



The upper  is a photo of the dance 「細男」( seino-o)                           ( taken last year)
Mr.上司(kamitukasa) who succeeds the dance 「細男」(seino-o) contributed to a newspaper.
According to him, when the Emperor Zinmu captured Shiragi in Korean peninsula long ago, 磯良(isora) who lives in the sea came to the beach. Shells were sticking to his face. He was ashamed it and hided his face with his sleeve. Dancers of 「 細男」 dance,hiding their faces with their sleeves,too. This gesture originates from 磯良. But this dance is wrapped in mystery and it's unique in Japanese performing arts history.
The dance 「細男」has been coming down under the conservation of Kasuga-Grand-Shrine.
This dance has been succeeded by four families from old. Two of them ceased and one of them didn't have man's successor and only the 上司 family remained.This dance is succeeded by mouth and there is not a sheet of music.
When Mr.上司is dancing 「細男」,he has a moment that he couldn't realize the era he is living. But he feels responsibility and joy of coming down the tradition.

Immediately after these dance performances, about 11p.m. shinto priests took out the offerings from the tentative palace and then put out the light suddenly. People take back The Divine the usual palace in the dark, making procession. A shinto priest at the head of the procession wafts the nice scent. I heard it's 神香(God's scent). About thirty priests wearing masks and taking sakaki trees each stick tight together, surrounding around the Divine. They follow,giving low voice,U.........
 And maiden in the service of a shinto shrine, Japanese instrument orchestra, and people follow. The usual place is in the deep dark forest. They walk in the black as pitch. They are not permitted to turn on the light or take photos. There are very solemn and mysterious atmosphere.
I wanted to follow them but I saw off them there as I can't catch the last train.

 priests take out the offerings from the tentative palace

Another is nature

志摩(shima) peninsula has the saw-toothed coastline and about small many islands,too. Many rafts for cultured pearls float in the calm bays. This place is known with pearl production,ise-lobster,abalone,oyster or fresh fish,etc. A lot of tourist,kids must have flood around some beaches here in Summer but now very quiet.
It takes about two hours from Nara city by a limited express.
We enjoyed hot spa,therapy by seawater. We took sea muddy body pack. It's warm and comfortable.
Also we enjoyed to see the stripe of Jupiter, Pleiades etc, through a big telescope in the hotel. Look at the night sky. Jupiter is shining big near the Orion now.
In addition, many shooting stars from around Gemini was supposed to appear on that night.As the moon wasn't in the sky or our room has a large window was standing on the hill, we could watch many shooting stars from our room, sitting chairs or lying on the bed.
                                                         farm of nori(laver)

Ama(professional woman diver) is feeding fish in a aquarium. She usually pick shellfish, ise-lobster, seaweed etc, in the sea without wearing diving tools.


                       Thank you for reading my blog for this year.

  I wish you all a peaceful and happy Christmas     and New Year! 

                        This post is linked Our World Tuesday


Hue in Autumn

Autumn is leaving and Winter is coming. Leaves are showing us its last shining. Their crimson is most beautiful in recent years, I heard.
As I was a bit busy in November, I couldn't post . So let me  put some expression of the early Autumn, Autumn after harvest and the late Autumn.

1 .稲淵(Inabuchi), the famous area for terraced paddy fields.
    When I came here in spring, those fields had water after the rice planting . Many tadpole were      harboring. And now I felt blessing to the rich harvest.

 After reaping, they are hung to dry. Lately this scene is decreasing. 
 I heard the contest of scarecrow was held here before. Some scarecrow were remained. But if I come across them in the night, I am scared them.
A farmer are burning chaff or something over there. When I was child, I used to smell the chaff burning in the Autumn.
2.  I came across a heavy growth of Water hyacinth in 橿原市(Kashihara city )in  early autumn. They were shining in the light of sunset. I heard they were planted by pupils of a elementary  school.                   
3. Around 琵琶湖 (the Lake Biwa )in the late  Autumn. 
The avenue of Metasequoia at Makino-Picland in west side of the lake Biwa.

Astringent persimmon were hung under the eaves. They will be sweet in the winter. 
 The belfry
鶏足寺(keisokuji-temple)is at northeast of the lake Biwa. Plenty of fallen leaves turn the ground of this temple into a red carpet. Though usually here is so quiet temple,  many people visit here during this season of colored leaves. 
The garden of  彦根城(Hikone castle) in east side of the lake Biwa.  
 Would you like a cup of green tea under this parasol in this garden,watching colored leaves or the castle etc?


Home of green tea

Here 和束(Wazuka) where is in the south of Kyoto prefecture is a major source of Japanese green tea. The tea fields extent along Wazuka river. The fog often lay all around there and closes in over tea leaves and helps shade. So the taste of Wazuka tea will become more delicious.


A so kind acquaintance in Wazuka took us to the top of the tea field by his pickup truck. The truck climbed up on the winding, narrow, bumpy road with deadly speed. As we rode on the rear carrier, it turned to something like the ride in an amusement grounds. I enjoyed the thrill that I might be thrown off the truck.


                                                 Cosmos by the ridge


                                                 Harvest of Wazuka tea

When I stood up on the top of this tea field and looked down tea fields, golden rice field, houses etc, I felt I conquered this area. But when I was getting down there, a very big monkey crossed ahead of me. Nobody was there. I was so surprised that I couldn’t cry. Indeed, I have a experience that I was attacked by a monkey when I was a child. It’s a little kind of trauma for me. The monkey seemed not to aware of me.

                                            The view from the teafield

                                          Golden rice fields expands around the hills of tea

When we were going down at the teafield, we came across a local old woman with a long stick, a pistol( only sound for monkeys), and a watering can.

She said “Get down with carefully. Because more than one hundred monkeys came from this mountain now and they went the mountain over there but they will come back to this mountain soon.” A lot of mess of persimmon scattered around there.

Soon we encountered five monkeys. They were flying from a house to a house. We picked up some stones as a weapon for their attack. But as they disappeared,  I was very relieved. So I wasn’t tired to go up the tea field but monkeys terrified and exhausted me very much.

                                            The teafield like an arena theater


My Autumn trip in France

I visited France in September. I have been to Paris three times. This time I visited the other beautiful cities and Paris.

Upside-down pyramid

pyramidal entrance at Musee du
Louvre( click picture to enlarge them)

The new restairant in Opera Garnier

Eiffel Tower and doves

The park near Musee Marmottan. 
 I happened to meet a Canadian
in MuseeMarmottan who was teaching
 English  near my house.  Who set
 a lot of chestnuts on the bench, I wonder?

As you know Paris is attractive artistic beauty city. But getting out of Paris, the farms are so large that I can’t distinguish the boarder of the land and the sky. Vines were lined up infinitely in order on the plain. They were winding lower posts not a shelf like in Japan. The fields of corn or grain have started to turn yellow. Those field in the evening sun reminded me of  “ L'Angelus(The Angelus) or " Des Glaneuses( The Gleaners)"  by Millet.

I heard mothers in France think the best nutritional value for their children when they ready meals for them. I thought it’s possible as I saw those large harvest on the fields. I also heard the population in France is increasing.

Mont St-Michel at a distance

Mont St-Michel

The cloister in Mont St-Michel

West side terrace in Mont St-Michel
A lot of sea gulls fly on the mud flat
 in Mont St-Michel

Sunset and contrails

Chateau d'Amboise---one of  old chateaus along river Loire

one of pilgrimage place--Rocamadour
three pilgrimage place--Rocamadour,
 Mont St- Michel, Chemins de
Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle en France
Rocamadour--world heritage site
I watched the ballet by the director George Balanchine  at Opera  Garnier  in Paris. The ballet was modern and the movement of dancers were interesting.

Act 1
Painting by Chagall
Our seats were the first raw in one of the balconies in the Face of the third floor. The balcony was things like a compartment. So it has twelve seats, coat hanger, a red long sofa and a door.

I rushed out of the balcony to take photos without having anything except for my camera at the intermission. That’s a totally failure. I was taking the gorgeous stairs at the first floor. Soon the bell rang to let people know the start of the next stage. I climbed up the third floor and I was surprised. Because each balcony had the same door. I had no idea which door is my balcony’. For I didn’t have anything, a ticket or a bag except for my camera. I tried to enter one balcony but it didn’t make a hit. Some doors were already shut and I couldn’t open them. A young usher and I got into a panic. But two doors were open yet. I managed to reach my seat at last. The stage had already started.

Basilique de Notre-Dame de
 Fourviere in Lyon

Site historique de Lyon--Cathedrale St-Jean or La Saone

Pont du Gard--the waterworks bridge of Roman.

Bourgogne wine at Beaune

Hotel Dieu--old hospital--at Beaune

Pont Saint-Benezet( bridge in Avignon)--It was left with half broken.

When I visited Paris last time I came across a girl pickpocket in a metro. But she couldn’t get my wallet because I noticed her cold fingers run on my fingers that took hold of the zipper of my bag. Also I  witnessed   polices were chasing a suspicious man at the  airport Charles de Gaulle and the man run away quickness my side.  I witnessed dangerous side at that time.

But this time I could feel the rich leisurely localities and lovely Paris.

Ville fortifiee histrique de Carcassonne
(one of the largest fortress village in Europe
Pont Van Gogh in Arles-- I heard
 there are many great beauty in Arles

the basin for yachts in Nice

Marche in Nice

Beadh in Nice

Eze--village built on a top of the mountain

in Ezu village

Cassis--nice resort--Cassis wine is tasty

Plane tree avenue in Aix-En-Provence

Morning glow in Lyon