This is Wakamiya- Shrine's festival. Wakamiya-shrine is affiliated with Kasuga-Grand-Shrine.

In the year 1136, people in Yamato district were suffering from flood or hunger, so Kanpaku(the rank to assist a Emperor)-Fujiwarano Tadamichi built the temporary palace and dedicated performing arts to Wakamiya God.  Rain stopped and became to get rich harvest. So this became an annual event. This festival has been continued and this year is the 878th.

                                   Yabusame by a boy.    He put an arrow in the target excellently

                                                   Maiden in Shrine


                                                              before the parade


                                                                      horse race

The festival was held from the 15th to the 18th on December. The climax is the 17th. At 0:00a.m. Wakamiya God enter at the temporary palace.  From 12:00p.m. performing arts groups and people join the festival start a procession. From 3:30p.m. until 11:00p.m. they dedicate dances on the 9 m square grass stage. After those performing Wakamiya God get back to his usual palace around 11:30p.m.

                                                           They played Kagura

                                            Azuma-asobi   four boys played.



Since Onmaturi began in Nara where Japanese culture was born.  Shinto ritual  or Kagura, Azumaasobi, Yamatomai etc in old Japanese performing arts have been strictly protected .Bugaku that came from Korean peninsula are handed down. And Dengaku, Seinoo, Sarugaku etc that were formed among citizen in Middle Ages are succeeded relatively correctly. So this festival look like the museum of art performance.

    Bugaku,  Kitoku  (I took last year.If you would like to see last bolg, click Here .)

                                                                                                ( I took the year before last)

                                                                         Bugaku,  Nasori            (I took last year)

Thank you for visiting during this year.
Wishing you Merry Christmas and Very Happy New year!              
                                                                              Best Wishes Sarah


Today's Todaiji-Temple

Today I felt here is alive with foreign travelers,having a bustle before the  Lehman Shock. Thanks to yen's depreciation,I wonder?

I walked around at the site of the Todaiji-Temple today.
Maples or ginkgos leaves have already colored and started falling from the trees. they were showing the last glow, receiving the late autumn's light.

As the site of Todaiji-Temple is very large and I don't know well about the way around there. So I strolled the place where I can see the golden しび( a kind of decoration that attached the both side of ridge of roof,  charm against the fire, that's embodied the shape that fish jumps from the surface and left its tail over the surface.)
                                                      The Great Buddha of Todaiji

                                                                 Around Daibutu Pond

                                                    From The Febuary -Hall in Todaiji

There are many big ginkgo trees in the site and  their golden leaves were strewed and accumulated widely around them. The place covered with ginkgo's leaves are shiny in the dimly grove, so couples, children, foreign travelers and deers were exciting together on the yellow carpet and  touching the warmness ginkgo provided.

When Fall turned the leaves crimson in Japan, people go maple viewing. This custom started around Heian period ( around 8 ~12century, its capital was Kyoto city) so many maple trees are planted in Kyoto city.

Many people composed a tanka poem related to the maple trees. This was composed in around 10 century.


  Feet deep in maple's autumnal carpets in the mountains,

     Away from crowds along with distant voice,

      Heart deep in sorrow with deer crying in solo.

(Both the writer and the deer were disappointed in love,I wonder?)

Some world heritage site like Todaiji-temple or Kasuga Grand Shrine or Kofukuji-Temple etc, are built near each other and also adjoin the living space of people or Nara park. We can go around by foot. People are trying to let the living space sit in the situation of the old days as possible as they can. So when I walk there I can be in the restful world like time stopped. I like it. I think it's similar to some  European medieval world heritage site.


Two another worlds

美ヶ原(Utukusigahara) plateau locates in the east of Matumoto city(松本市) in Nagano prefecture and it's about 2000meters high.
As 美ヶ原 is like field or meadow and there is no landmark when a dense fog lay all around, there seemed to be people who got lost. So the small tower (美しの塔)with a bell was build in the center of the field to tell its place for visitor.

Just after sunset fog run around there with deadly speed and closed in over there. I was surprised with its speed and thought if I was walking there I couldn't escape out of it. At that time I was taking photos on the roof in the hotel and I also was wrapped in the fog in a flash. I couldn't get to see nothing and felt chill,scariness.

美ヶ原is said "Observatory of Alps". We can see high mountains of 360 degrees around from here. At the south, Mt.Fuji, 八ヶ岳連峰(the Yatugatake peaks),中央アルプス連峰(the Central- Alps peaks),南アルプス連峰(the Southern-Alps peaks) etc. At the west , 北アルプス連峰(the Northern-Alps peaks),etc. At the north, 剣立山連峰(the Turugi-Tateyama peaks),etc. At the east, Mt.Asama etc.

I have climbed 西穂高岳(Nishi-hodaka-mountain),乗鞍岳(Norikura-mountain)or Mt.Fuji,etc. Seeing those peaks with white snow, I satisfied by myself that how could I attain such a high place.

According to a hotel driver, " Mt.Fuji locates near the Pacific Ocean and Mt. 白馬岳(Sirouma-dake)locates near the Sea of Japan. As you can see Mt.Fuji and Mt.Sirouma-dake from here, you can recognize roughly the breadth of the Japanese archipelago." Don't you think this idea is interesting?

Before daybreak

Mt.Fuji was designated for World Heritage Site this year. Before daybreak. The back trapezoid silhouette.

Good morning.

At sunrise, many peaks have white snow are colored pink and those feet are filled with the field of clouds.
Here 美ヶ原is famous for the field of clouds. They closed down to near the hotel we stayed. We could see them through the window of the dining room at the breakfast. I felt like I can walk on them.
Also they change to mild pink at the part that sun right reflect for short minutes just after sunrise.


Here we could see stars bigger than on the ground. Autumn's constellation--the Pegasus, vestige of Summer's constellation--the Swan, Winter's ---the Orion etc, its quiet twinkle  fascinated me.

During Summer season, milk cows that built up stress are carried to the meadow here. They are pastured and given salt but not a barn. I wonder where he shelter at heavy rain or cold days but after living here they can get to produce milk. This surroundings also  heal cows as well as human.

We came across many wild deers for night drive by the hotel. Only their eyes shone in the weak light of a flashlight. I heard Matumusiso( a plant that have pale purple flowers in the early Autumn) here or some plants are decreasing because the increasing deers eat. Even in this strict  environmental preservation the food chain is changing little by little. I wonder if we can have foods in 22century though it's exaggerated idea.

As the hotel stands in the nature reserve, one's own car can't enter this reserve and no buses. Only one option to reach the hotel is to use the courtesy bus of the hotel. Excluding cars is one of those way that leave this beautiful country.

 So here is literally another world  on the clouds surrounded by nature.

Fujimi highland
It seemed I was in a country of the fairy tale.
The mountains were painted gorgeous pattern by colored leaves.




Charming streets


Toledo was a capital of the West Goth Kingdom around from 5century to 8century. In Middle Ages, Muslim, Jew and Christian lived together in this city.The city is called "the whole of city is museum".This city is surrounded by river Tajo and the scene from the across the river is very impressive. The Parador(the national hotel chain that reuse old castle, monastery or mansion of aristocrat,etc as a hotel ) de Toledo is located at good position to see the city. We could enjoy its nice view.

The festival  was held in Toledo. Almost of kids were carrying a bouquet. They showed the banner proudly.

After the discovery of the New Continent by Christpher Columbus, this city flourished with the fortune of trade from 15 century to 16 century and became the strongest city in Europe in those days.
The grave of Columbus is in The Cathedral and the coffin is carried by four Spainish kings' statues.
The Cathedral is very big. Incidentally, talking of magnitude of cathedral in the world, Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano, Saint Paul's in London and The cathedral in Sevilla round out top three.
When we drove in front of  the building that was used to the tobacco factory, I remembered about opera"Carmen". It's tragedy of romance and conflict among a gypsy Carmen, a soldier Don Jose, a toreador Escamillo  as you know. From the Tower of La Giralda I could see the big bullring that Escamillo might have played in. It was very hot day I visited there. Beating sunshine was perfect fit for Carmen, I wonder?


Pl.de Espana

Estadio Sntiago Bernabeu(the home stadium of the Real Madrid)
I was scared when I looked down from the highest seat. But I wanted to taste the atmosphere that eighty thousand fans are excited.

Boys and girls were very lovely. They came voluntarily, amicably with smile.

White village spreads out the fold of hills in Andalucia. On the fine day, we can see the African Continent far from here, I heard. Donkey taxi matches with this white quiet village.

They are flamenco dancers. Young and veteran.
Thank you for visiting. Have a nice Day!