Events:

21 April - 14 May 27th National Confectionary Exposition in Mie, Mie Prefecture
leaflet in four languages:
Venue: Mie Prefectural Sun Arena and peripheral areas --20 minutes bus ride from Ise Jingu Shrine(Naiku) (advance ticket needed)

1-30 April Miyako Odori(Cherry Dance), Kyoto
Maiko and geiko dance performances
Advance tickets are available from overseas at:
The performances are being done at Kyoto Art Theater “Shunjuza”(http://k-pac.org/) this year.

25-28 May Azuma Odori, Tokyo
http://www.azuma-odori.jp/ (sorry, Japanese version only)
Geisha dance performances
Tickets will be available after April 14



seasonal flowers:


cherry blossom forecast :
http://sakura.weathermap.jp/ (Japanese version only)  


Sunday, May 27, 2012

annular solar eclipse, Tokyo Skytree and Tohoku Rokkon Festival

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, my sister was transferred to another hospital for inspection. She is now safe, and my mother returned home from the hospital. I've returned to my everyday life.

_IGP8445 by INABA Tomoaki /flickr
Annular Solar Eclipse in Mito,Ibaraki
at 07:38:40 on May 21st in 2011
An annular solar eclipse occurred on May 21st. Many people saw it despite overcast weather in many areas.

Solar eclipse, Japan, 日本, 金環日食 by ivva /flickr

In Yokohama, the sun peeked out between the clouds at the time of annular solar eclipse. It went like this.


ASAKUSA 2011
ASAKUSA 2011 by saotin /flickr 

Tokyo Skytree, the 634-meter-high TV transmission tower in Sumida Ward of Tokyo, opened to the public on May 22nd.

押上天祖神社と東京スカイツリー 
by norio.nakayama /flickr



Tickets to the TOKYO SKYTREE TEMBO DECK (350m) from May 22 to July 10 are by advance reservation only. Tickets to the TOKYO SKYTREE TEMBO GALLERIA (450m) must be purchased at the Ticket Counter located on the TOKYO SKYTREE TEMBO DECK.










Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo 
by Ari Helminen /flickr


It rained on the day of the tower's grand opening.



Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
 by Ari Helminen /flickr

The height of the tower "634" can be read as "musashi" in Japanese. Musashi(武蔵) is an old province straddling Tokyo, Saitama and Kanagawa Prefectures.
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo 
by Ari Helminen /flickr 
The techniques of building the ancient towers is utilized for building Tokyo Skytree. The ancient earthquake-resistant design has been adopted toward this new tower's building design.
(refer to previous post for further information. )





東京スカイツリー TOKYO SKYTREE by
 Kentaro Ohno /flickr








東京スカイツリー TOKYO SKYTREE 
by  Kentaro Ohno /flickr
 





東京スカイツリー TOKYO SKYTREE 
by Kentaro Ohno /flickr







P5060401 by Zengame /flickr 









20111223 東京スカイツリーライトアップ 
by Zengame /flickr 




Tokyo Skytree opening day


東京スカイツリー TOKYO SKYTREE by Kentaro Ohno /flickr




東京スカイツリー TOKYO SKYTREE by Kentaro Ohno /flickr




東京スカイツリー TOKYO SKYTREE by  Kentaro Ohno /flickr




東京スカイツリー TOKYO SKYTREE by  Kentaro Ohno /flickr




東京スカイツリー TOKYO SKYTREE by  Kentaro Ohno /flickr



東京スカイツリー TOKYO SKYTREE by Kentaro Ohno /flickr


京スカイツリー TOKYO SKYTREE by Kentaro Ohno /flickr




Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo by Ari Helminen /flickr




Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo by Ari Helminen /flickr




Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo by Ari Helminen /flickr




東京スカイツリー by nambon /flickr
On March 6th in 2011
On march 11th in 2011, the quake measuring a lower 5 on the Japanese scale of 7 struck this tower under construction. No one was injured, and no damage was done to the tower.

Although a series of aftershocks affected its construction schedule, the tower reached 634 meters in height one week later.
Sumida
Sumida by loveloveshine /fllickr
On March 19th in 2011

DSC_3103
DSC_3103 by al-hayat /flickr 

Tohoku Rokkon Festival 2012(東北六魂祭) is being held at Chuo Avenue and Morioka Castle Ruins Park (Iwate Park), Morioka City,Iwate Prefecture on May 26th and 27th. Rokkon(六魂) means six souls.


DSC_3086 by al-hayat /flickr 

You can see six major festivals in Tohoku Region including the Aomori Nebuta Festival(青森ねぶた祭), the Akita Kantou Festival(秋田竿燈まつり), the Sendai Tanabata Festival(仙台七夕まつり), the Yamagata Hanagasa Festival(山形花笠まつり), the Morioka Sansa Dance(盛岡さんさ踊り) and the Fukushima Waraji Festival(福島わらじまつり) at once.

The festival started to liven up Tohoku Region and encourage people to come and see these festivals last year. About 360,000 Visitors poured in to enjoy the festival from all over the country last year, so Aomori Nebuta and Akita Kanto were cancelled in the parade for the safety of visitors.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Irises and Eight Bridges


Iris laevigata / 杜若(カキツバタ) 
by TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) /flickr
Kakitsubata(Rabbit-Ear Iris, Iris laevigata)
The exhibition "Irises and Eight Bridges" is being held at the Nezu Museum(根津美術館) in Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo from April 21st to May 20th.
Please refer to the museum's website for more information.


根津美術館 by Kentaro Ohno /flickr
The Nezu Museum
The national treasure "Kakitsubata-zu-Byoubu(燕子花図屏風)" screens owned by this museum and "Yatsuhashi-zu-Byoubu(八橋図屏風, Eight Bridges)" screens from The Metropolitan Museum of Art are being exhibited.


根津美術館
根津美術館 by Kentaro Ohno /flickr
The Nezu Museum



根津美術館 by Kentaro Ohno /flickr
The Nezu Museum
Each of them is a pair of gold-ground six-panel screens by Ogata Korin(尾形 光琳,1658-1716). These paintings are based on a scene from the Yatsuhashi(Eight Bridges) section of The Tales of Ise.
(Refer to http://ichinen-fourseasonsinjapan.blogspot.jp/2010/05/kakitsubata-rabbit-ear-iris.html for more information about the tale.)



The museum has its garden. The rabbit-ear irises in the garden are fully in bloom now.

根津美術館 庭園 by na0905 /flickr
garden in the Nezu Museum


根津美術館 庭園 by na0905 /flickr
garden in the Nezu Museum

根津美術館 by Kentaro Ohno /flickr
garden in the Nezu Museum



根津美術館 by Kentaro Ohno /flickr
garden in the Nezu Museum








Friday, May 4, 2012

cherry blossoms (6)

While the rainy season has begun in Okinawa, cherry trees have started blooming in Hokkaido. In Asahikawa, Hokkaido the cherry blossoms started blooming on May 2nd and reached full bloom on the same day.


Shokawa-zakura
Shokawa-zakura(荘川桜) in Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture are fully in bloom now.
A dam's construction threatened to submerge cherry trees. Two 450 year-old trees were replanted along the dam lake by the construction company of the dam in 1960.They attract many tourists.
 
Kubo-zakura
Okitama Basin in Yamagawa Prefecure is dotted with old cherry trees.
The petals of Kubo-zakura(久保桜) in Isazawa, Nagai City, Yamagata Prefecture are fluttering down. The tree is 1200 years old and has been designated as a national natural treasure.



Kamanokoshi-zakura
Kamanokoshi-zakura(釜ノ越桜) and Yakushi-zakura(薬師桜) in Shirataka Town, Nishi-okitama District, Yamagata Prefecture are fully in bloom now. Kamanokoshi-zakura is 800 years old and Yakushi-zakura is 1200 years old.  

Yakushi-zakura
photo by 日本列島お国自慢 

Both of them are a variety of cherry trees called Edohigan. The town has eight old cherry trees estimated to be over 500 years old.




Ishiwari-zakura


Ishiwari-zakura
The cherry blossom petals of Ishiwari-zakura(石割桜) on the grounds of the Morioka District Court in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture are fluttering down.
Ishiwari-zakura is a 360 year-old Edohigan tree and grows from a large crack in a huge rock. It was designated as a national natural treasure in 1923. The Morioka District Court was built on the site where the house of the Nanbu domain lords' branch family used to be.
 



Kitakami City Park Tenshochi

photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙
The cherry blossom petals in Tenshochi (Kitakami City Park Tenshochi) in Kitakami City, Iwate Prefecture are fluttering down.
A sightseeing horse wagon goes through the cherry blossom tunnel.

(one of 100 best cherry blossoms viewing points)



Kitakami City Park Tenshochiphoto by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙
The park has the 2-km-long row of 700 Yoshino cherry trees along Kitakami River(北上川) and 10,000 cherry trees of 150 different varieties including Yoshino cherry, Edohigan, Beniyamazakura(紅山桜, Cerasus sargentii (Rehder) and kasumizakura(霞桜, Cerasus verecunda (Koidz.) H.Ohba.) They were planted in 1920.

Kitakami City Park Tenshochi
photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Kitakami City Park Tenshochi
photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Kitakami City Park Tenshochi

Kitakami City Park Tenshochi
photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Kitakami City Park Tenshochi
photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙



Yonai Water Purification Plant

The cherry blossoms in Yonai Water Purification Plant(米内浄水場), Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture are not yet in bloom.
 



Kobozakura

Kobozakura(弘法桜) in Shizukuishi, Iwate District, Iwate Prefecture is fully in bloom now. The cherry tree(Edohigan) is over 800 years old.
 

Takkoku no Iwaya
The petals of weeping cherry tree in Takkoku no Iwaya(達谷窟) in Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture are fluttering down.
 


Morioka Castle Ruins Park
The cherry blossoms in Morioka Castle Ruins Park(盛岡城跡公園) in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture are fully in bloom now.


Takamatsu Park
The Yoshino cherry blossoms in Takamatsu Park(高松公園) in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture are fully in bloom now. The park has 800 cherry trees including Yoshino cherry, weeping cherry, double-flowered cherry and yamazakura.
(one of 100 best cherry blossoms viewing points)
 


The cherry blossoms in Shiwa Shiroyama Park(紫波城山公園) in Shiwa District, Iwate Prefecture are fully in bloom now.
 

stroll
stroll by tsushima2011 /flickr 
kakunodate
The cherry blossoms in Kakunodate in Senboku City, Akita Prefecture are fully in bloom now.
 (one of 100 best cherry blossoms viewing points)
Kakunodate is a former castle town and is very famous for about 400 weeping cherry trees including 162 trees estimated to be over 300 years old. They have been designated as a national natural treasure.



秋田市 千秋公園の桜
秋田市 千秋公園の桜 by shentianrun /flickr
Senshu Park

The cherry blossom petals in Senshu Park(千秋公園) in Akita City, Akita Prefecture are fluttering down.








About 2600 cherry trees in Hirosaki Park(弘前公園) in Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture are fully in bloom now.
(one of 100 best cherry blossoms viewing points)
 

Japanese style
Japanese style by daita /flickr 
Matsumae Park
The cherry blossoms in Matsumae Park(松前公園) in Matsumae District, Hokkaido started blooming. The park has 10,000 cherry trees of 250 different varieties.
(one of 100 best cherry blossoms viewing points)