snow and ice festivals (Japanese version only):
1-27 April Miyako Odori(Cherry Dance), Minamiza Theatre, Kyoto
Maiko and geiko dance performances
Advance tickets are available from overseas at:
14 April-7 June KIMONO: Fashioning Identities
This exhibition shows kimono from the 13th century to today
Venue: Heiseikan, Tokyo National Museum (Ueno Park)
Christmas lights :
https://sp.jorudan.co.jp/illumi/rank.html (Japanese version only)
http://www.rurubu.com/season/winter/illumination/ (Japanese version only)
cherry blossom forecasts for 2020 (Japanese version only):
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Hydrangea macrophylla f. normalis
Hydrangea macrophylla normalis(額紫陽花, Gaku-ajisai) is native to Japan and has flowerheads with subdued and fertile flowers ringed by showy and sterile flowers. Lacecap hydrangeas are thought to be original species of hydrangeas. Gaku means a frame(額縁, gakubuchi). Outer flowers are like a frame.
Hydrangea macrophylla f. macrophylla
Hydrangea macrophylla macrophylla(紫陽花 or 本紫陽花, ajisai or hon-ajisai) is thought to be a type of Hydrangea macrophylla normalis which have mop flowerheads.
Hydrangea macrophylla f. hortensia
European plant cultivators developed Hydrangea macrophylla hortensia based on Japanese hydrangeas.
Hydrangea macrophylla concavosepala or Hydrangea macrophylla cv. Uzu-azisai (渦紫陽花, uzu-ajisai) dates back to the Edo Period.
Hydrangea macrophylla f. variegate(Gakuajisai with variegated leaves) is one of antique-variety hydrangeas and was already known in the Edo Period.
Hydrangea serrata (H. macrophylla subsp. serrata)
Hydrangea serrata(山紫陽花, yama-ajisai) is a variety of hydrangea native to mountainous regions of eastern Asia and Japan.
Compared to Hydrangea macrophylla, Hydrangea serrata are small and its leaves are small, thin and lusterless. They are firm favorites with some gardening lovers. I like them.
(清澄沢紫陽花, Kiyosumisawa-ajisai) is found around Mt. Kiyosumi in Chiba Prefecture.
Amacha(甘茶) means sweet tea.Hydrangea is a poisonous plant, but a herbal tea made from amacha's leaves containing a natural sweetener named pyllodulcin are used for Buddha's birthday Festival on April 8th. The tea is poured over a statue of Buddha and is served at the festival.
Hydrangea serrata var. megacarpa(蝦夷紫陽花, Ezo-ajisai) grow mainly in areas of heavy snowfall in Japan.
Hydrangea quercifolia(Oakleaf hydrangea) is native to the Southeastern United States. Recently, I often see these hydrangeas in my area.
Hydrangea and snail go together.
"drawstring pouch in the shape of Hydrangea macrophylla forma normalis " designed by Masako Fujimoto
Shigeyoshi Inoue ed.,Wa-no-Nunoasobi-chirimenzaiku,(Tokyo:ONdori Sha,2003),P.4
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
We're back to the rainy season again.
Ajisai(紫陽花:hydrangea) is a representative blossom in the rainy season.
The Hakone Tozan Railway (箱根登山鉄道) is a mountain railway extending from Odawara to Gora. Its tracks are lined with hydrangeas in full bloom on either side.
photo by skyseeker.net
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Horikiri Iris Garden(堀切菖蒲園) in Katsushika Ward of Tokyo has 6,000 irises of 200 different species and is open to all visitors free of charge. The garden has the hanashobu varieties that have been improved at Horikiri since the early Edo period.
In 1996, elderly people started to develop abandoned rice paddies. They planted 10,000 irises there. Now you can see half a million irises of 170 different species.
Hanashobu have grown wild on the site of Eitaku-ji Temple for 600 years.
You can see more irises of Eitaku-ji on this site.
photos by 神戸観光壁紙写真集
Kamo Garden(加茂花菖蒲園) in Shizuoka Prefecture
This garden was created before the gate of the Kamo family's house built in the middle of the Edo Period.
The memers of the Kamo family served as a village headman for generations.
photo by 日本列島お国自慢
In 1954, an iris garden was created in Magatama-ike Pond on the site of Ise Jingu Shrine Geku(伊勢神宮外宮) in Mie Prefecture.
photos by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙
The garden is located next to Lake Kagurame.
Ayame means Siberian iris. The garden has various types of irises.
photo by 日本列島お国自慢
Suigo Itako Ayame Festival(水郷潮来あやめまつり) is being held from May 21st to June 26th in Itako in Fukushima Prefecture. Suigo means a riverside district. The earthquake in Tohoku Region did partial damage to a part of venues for the festival. This festival shows not ayame(Siberian irises) but Hanashoubu(Japanese water irises).
Waterways were a common part of people's lives in riverside districts such as Itako.
Brides used to head for their grooms' houses by boat. Now some brides dressed in white kimono take a boat during the festival. Only the couples decided by lot can take part in this wedding event as a part of the festival. During the festival, young women move a Sappa boat with tourists by pulling an oar.
photos by 花とハイキングでエンジョイ