Brocaded Shrine

We went to 談山神社(Tanzan-shrine) to go maple viewing. It takes about two hours from Nara city by car. As the temple locates in the mountain  people come to there by their own car. So all parking lots were filled to capacity. About 50 cars were making a long line along the road to wait for parking. I was disappointed the length of the cue and I didn't want to line. We made U-turn and descended and found a vacant somehow. But I had to go up the road on foot again.

Around 7 century, there was the center of politics near this shrine.
A football game was held at one temple. At that time, one of shoes of a prince,中大兄皇子(Nakanoooe-no-oji ) has come off and flied. A member of a powerful family,蘇我入鹿(Soga-no-iruka) scorned it. But a member of another family,中臣鎌足(Nakatomi-no-kamatari) pick it up and handed over the prince. Like this、both 中大兄皇子and 中臣鎌足 met at the game. They went behind this shrine ( this shrine wasn't built then yet. later this shrine was built for 中臣鎌足)and talked over about to assassinate 蘇我入鹿. Because 蘇我入鹿 became to have stronger power than the Emperor in the palace. After this assassination (A.D.645), a political reform took place and the politics by the Emperor started again.

I heard from one Canadian that we Canadian don't have a custom to enjoy colored leaves. Huh? I naturally admire trees aflame with red and yellow leaves. Maple trees in Japan are more beautiful than other country because of Japanese climate ,I wonder? Or it's for our DNA? According to a book,
 around 9 century, aristocrats held a banquet, enjoying colored leaves and they wrote tanka poetry about the beauty of them to compete.

Also according to legend, A goddess, 竜田姫(Tatuta-hime) had been living in Mt.Tatuta where locates at west of Nara. She administered Autumn. She was wearing autumn's plant of  brocade with vivid scarlet or golden color and dyed mountains,swinging sleeves.

    Thank you for coming, Friends!
 I will leave here in Nara and stay in Yokohama for a while because of upcoming my daughter's child-birth.
 So I'll take a break. Have a nice day!   Until next time.


Autumn tints in the Nara Basin

I visited some places in Nara district to feel Autumn Colors.

This park is very large,65.3h and has some ancient tombs or a rich natural environment. The scale is the second after Nara-Park in Nara district. It takes about an hour ride by a car from Nara city.
We can enjoy so many flowers there throughout the year. So many kind of flowers were blooming despite Autumn. I had almost the mistaken idea that it's summer yet. But the red fruits of dogwood are token of Autumn. Seeing carefully, I noticed they were autumn flowers.

This temple is registered World Heritage Site as a group of Horyuji-Temple and was built by the son of Syoutoku-Taishi  in about 8 century and the oldest as a three-storied pagoda.
Many local amateur cameraman were standing their tripods on the path between rice paddies that rice harvested when I drove in front of the temple. It seems to be a good point to take around sunset. So I also joined in it. Before sunset,there were so many dramatic clouds around the pagoda. They were exciting " We will take good pictures today." and waited sunset. The sun set and the sky changed from gold to purple pink. But those  many clouds had already gone somewhere. They mumbled" The good chance won't come today." They scattered from there with disappointed looks. I am sure that they will also come tomorrow. I also want to go there to take pink clouds sometime.

From the top of Mt.Wakakusa
This mountain locates at the east end of Nara-Park and 342 meters in height.  So many Japanese pampas grass were waving and shining by the evening sun. We can see the roof of The Great Buddha of Todaiji-temple or the buildings of Nara city stretch  below. Mt. Ikoma is seen over there and it locates the border between Osaka district and Nara district.

The total eclipse of the moon
We could see the bronze moon on October,8th.
When I was watching the moon through my camera, I felt it was so mysterious. But I don't feel it's mysterious or solemn in this picture, Of course it's also two-dimensional. Someone said that it may have to do with between the single-lens(single-lens reflex) and double-lenses(human's eyes). But I was watching the moon through my camera with my own single eye though......Or I was intoxicating with the first space show for me,I wonder?
Totality continued for an hour and partial eclipse was for two hours and twenty minutes. The moon started waning below and fulling from left side. I've never take time off to watch the moon that much.

                                Thank you for coming here. Have a nice day Friend!

                                  Shared with Sky Watch FridayOur World Tuesday


Peaceful nights

There is no day above 30 degrees Celsius any more although the average temperature tends to get higher and higher lately. It became comfortable to walk in the evening.
We admired the harvest moon recently. On that night some events were held in Nara city.
I went Sarusawa pond on that night at first but a large number of people had already sit around the pond. And there wasn't no spot to see well for me so I left there early and drove to 唐招提寺temple.

At 唐招提寺(Toshodaiji-Temple)
The event to admire the harvest moon with the images of Buddha( national treasure) or the priest 鑑真(Ganjin, A.D.688~763)who found this temple  together was held at 唐招提寺(World Heritage Site).
The three doors of the hall are open only on that night in a year and after priests' Buddhist service we can pay homage.
The moon was shining silently high in the night sky. Three golden image of Buddha came out of the dark. Visitors appreciated its divine beauty peacefully. When I was soaked in the solemn atmosphere of the night three doors were closed quietly. It's the closing time, 9:00 p.m. It became so dark as usual around there.

At Sarusawa pond   the festival was held in memory of a court lady Uneme on the harvest moon.

At 宝山寺(Hozanji-Temple)on the  Autumn Equinox
Buddhist service is held at almost temples on the day of the Autumn Equinox or Spring Equinox.
And  宝山寺 temple also had a Buddhist service on that day.
Mt.Ikoma exist the border between 生駒市(Ikoma-city) in Nara district and Osaka district.  宝山寺temple is standing on the middle of the slope of Mt.Ikoma of Nara side. So I went  there by a cable car with pretty dog face. This cable car is usually used by kids because there is an amusement park on the top of Mt.Ikoma.
As this temple is standing along the slope of Mt.Ikoma  it has a plenty of stone steps from the approach to the inmost hall. On that night, plenty of candle lights were lit up at around more than 300 stone image of Buddha. We enjoyed many candle lights and the night view of Ikoma city below.

At a entrance of a temple,  higan flowers are blooming around the equinoctial week.
They seem to welcome to visitors to the temple.                                                   

                          Thank you for visiting, friends!


Basara Festival in Nara

Basara Festival was held in Nara on the last day of August. It was very hot today.

The "Basara Festival" is a festival with a focus on street dance that takes place in Nara, which began in the summer of 1999.
This is the summer festival of citizen participation which is full of live feeling. Dance teams are wearing elaborated costumes and unfold the performance dancing parade on some streets or at Todaiji-temple entrance or Nara park etc. From children to adult ,38 teams, about 1000 people of inside and outside Nara district participated this year.

           Ten teams dedicated their performance at the entrance of TodaijiTemple.

      They are students of a university in Osaka.

Basara is originally a trend that was popular in Kamakura period (about 13 century),Muromachi period(about 14 century) and that in such court dance and music remove the time signature on purpose to play freely, to stand out.
It's said that in Nanbokucyo era(about 14 century), flashy costumes frighten the human eye, stylish behavior represented extremely aesthetics, the values of the unquiet days and also became the buzzword of the day.

"Basara Festival" is a new summer festival of the ancient capital Nara revive the modern its power and energy.

   A hospital team-they are doctors.


     From " kids dance contest."

Costumes were made by yukata-kimono texture.

    Many deer and tourist were hanging around in Nara-Park as usual on that day,too.
    This girl was chasing a deer with breathtaking speed on the large grass, though usually even boys scare, surrounded by  many deer.
                                                           Do your best,Hooray!

I do aerobics or Latin dance some times a week. Dancing with music is excitement for me though I am still a beginner.
So I got energy and passion from young people who were dancing with a beam of delight. Thank you all performers!

Thank you for taking time and reading my blog, Friends!



Summer greeting from the ancient capital

It's high Summer in Japan now. Japanese people get along in hot, sultry days. How about you?

My friend and I went to see lotus flowers at vestige of 藤原京(Fujiwara-kyo)
藤原京(Fujiwara-Kyo) is south of Nara city and it was the capital in Japan during the year 694~710, before the capital was moved to Heijyo-Kyo in Nara city. It takes about 30 minutes from Nara city by train.
Now here is only field surrounded three small mountain( Mt.Miminashi, Mt. Kagu, Mt.Unebi) or rice paddies.

At a part of the field of Fujiwara-Kyo, A lot of lotus were full blooming.

The day we visited there was very hot. Tall thriving lotus flowers were growing toward the deep blue Summer sky.
Deep blue Summer sky. Deep blue or white are Summer color,I think. 持統天皇(Female Emperor,Jito)was
ruling Japan in those days at Fujiwara-Kyo and this is one of her tanka poetry.
   春過ぎて 夏きたるらし 白妙の 衣ほしたり 天の香久山

It means Spring was over and Summer came. So white clothes are hung out toward Mt.Kagu. It's Summer-like view. White stood out under Summer strong light.

Yellow cosmos also were full blooming in the field of Fujiwara-Kyo.

                                        With Mt.Miminasi that is one of three mountain in Fujiwara-Kyo.

                          A baseball-boy was riding among yellow cosmos and green rice paddy.

We were going to leave there and supposed to call a taxi. But  there was too spacious around so we didn't know where we were. There were nobody around there. We couldn't meet anyone to ask where we were. But at last we discovered one man who was leaving his house. We only wanted to know the address we were standing  to call a taxi but he called a taxi for us and her mother invited us to have a cup of tea in her house.
I was impressed with their kindness for us, strangers. According to the taxi driver, " all people around here are kind like them".
I had a impression that they succeeded houses, estate, rice paddies, fortune etc, from their ancestors,maybe from the ancestor of the period of Fujiwara-Kyo and they've been  farming diligently at the rice-paddies. Around there in Nara, disasters must have been striking  little. So they could accumulate wealthy as I've read about it in a newspaper.