Saturday, October 27, 2012

Jusanya

October 27th is Jusanya(十三夜), which means the night or the moon on the 13th day of the 9th month in the lunar calendar. Along with Jugoya(十五夜), people enjoyed the moon viewing at Jusanya. Unlike Jugoya, this event is unique to Japan. Although it's not as popular as Jugoya, many events including open-air tea ceremonies and gagaku(ancient Japanese court dance and music) performances are held across Japan on this day.


Jusanya Kangetsu-e(十三夜観月会) at Kakurin-ji Temple(鶴林寺) in Kakogawa City, Hyogo Prefecture






Goma (Holy Fire) Mass


     
  an open-air tea ceremony

       
         
  Performers change from year to year. A string quartet gave a performance this year. Syomyo(the chanting of Buddhist hymns) was performed last year. Gagaku was performed in 2006.


gagaku performances





photo by 神戸観光壁紙写真集

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Autumn colors in October

The foliage season started later than usual.

Autumn colors past peak at Mount Ishizuchi (石鎚山, Ishizuchi-san) situated between Ehime and Kochi prefectures.


Mount Ishizuchi
photo by yokaphoto.net


photo by yokaphoto.net

 Autumn colors past peak at Karasawa(涸沢) in Nagano Prefecture.




                       



photo by yokaphoto.net
  

photo by yokaphoto.net


Mount Norikura
photo by yokaphoto.net

Autumn colors past peak at Mount Norikura(乗鞍岳, Norikura-dake) situated between Gifu and Nagano prefectures.




photo by yokaphoto.net
 Autumn colors are now at their peak at Mount Amakazari(雨飾山, Amakazari-yama) in Nagano Prefecture.





photo by yokaphoto.net

















Autumn colors are now at their peak at Shirabiso Highlands(しらびそ高原, Shirabiso-kogen) and Shimoguri no Sato(下栗の里) in Nagano Prefecture.


Shirabiso Highlands
photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙



Shirabiso Highlands
photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙



Shirabiso Highlands
photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Shimoguri no Sato(the hamlet of Shimoguri)
photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙



photo by Miyagi Prefectural Tourism Division
 Autumn colors past peak at Mount Kurikoma(栗駒山) in Miyagi Prefecture.

















photo by Miyagi Prefectural Tourism Division

Autumn colors are now at their peak at Sankai Falls(三階滝, Sankai-daki) in Miyagi Prefecture.


















photo by Miyagi Prefectural Tourism Division

Autumn colors are changing at Banji-iwa(磐司岩) in Miyagi Prefecture. They will peak soon.


















photo by Miyagi Prefectural Tourism Division

Autumn colors are changing at Naruko Gorge(鳴子峡) in Miyagi Prefecture.















photo by Miyagi Prefectural Tourism Division

Autumn colors are changing at Yokokawa Gorge(横川渓谷, Yokokawa-keikoku) in Miyagi Prefecture.















photo by Miyagi Prefectural Tourism Division

Autumn colors are changing at Momijigawa Gorge(紅葉川渓谷, Momijigawa-keikoku) in Yamagata Prefecture.















photo by yokaphoto.net

Autumn colors are changing at Mount Daisen(大山) in Tottori Prefecture.

















Autumn colors are changing at Onami Pond(大浪池, Onami-ike or Onami-no-ike) in Kagoshima Prefecture.


Onami Pond
photo by yokaphoto.net


Mt. Kutsukake
photo by yokaphoto.net

Autumn colors past peak or are at their peak at Mt. Kutsukake(沓掛山, Kutsukake-yama), Mt. Taisen(大船山, Taisen-zan), Mt. Mimata(三俣山, Mimata-yama) belonging to the Kuju Mountains(九重連山)  in Oita Prefecture.










Mt. Taisen
photo by yokaphoto.net


Mt. Taisen
photo by yokaphoto.net






Mt. Mimata
photo by yokaphoto.net




Mt. Mimata
photo by yokaphoto.net




Mt. Mimata
photo by yokaphoto.net







photo by yokaphoto.net

Autumn colors are at their peak at Mount Neko(根子岳, Neko-dake) in Kumamoto prefecture.


photo by Miyagi Prefectural Tourism Division

The foliage remains green along Okunikkawa River(奥新川) in Miyagi Prefecture. Autumn colors will be at their peak from late October to early November.




photo by Miyagi Prefectural Tourism Division
 The foliage remains green along Akiu Great Falls(秋保大滝, Akiu-otaki) in Miyagi Prefecture.Autumn colors will be at their peak from late October to early November.

photo by yokaphoto.net

Autumn colors are changing at Gokase Gorge(五ヶ瀬渓谷, Gokase-keikoku) in Miyazaki Prefecture.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Imonikai(hot pot party)

Imonikai(芋煮会) is a hot pot party held outdoors in Tohoku region in autumn.

imoni in Yamagata

Imoni is a hot pot made of mainly taro, and meat, carrot, burdock, Chinese cabbage, deep-fried bean curd, daikon radish, soybean curd, mushroom, and so on. It is simmered in a soy-sauce-based or miso-based sauces. Seasoning and ingredients differ from region to region.



imonikai in Miyagi

The party is particularly widespread in Yamagata and Miyagi Prefectures. From October to November, one can see many people enjoying hot pot parties on the river banks. Some parties are open to outsiders.





imonikai in Yamagata


Monday, October 15, 2012

Castle in the Sky

Many flowers are late in blooming this autumn because of the hot weather in September. Spider lilies are in full bloom in my town. Sweet osmanthus finally started blooming.

We eat Pacific sauries broiled with salt and rice cooked with chestnuts in autumn.
Pacific sauries come down from Hokkaido to Sanriku(Tohoku) in autumn, but they stay in Hokkaido due to this year's unusually high water temperatures. It also causes a poor salmon catch and a record catch of mackerel in Hokkaido.
I cooked chestnut rice last week. It takes a lot of effort to remove astringent skins from the Japanese chestnut.

Takeda Castle Ruins in Asago City, Hyogo Prefecture looked like an island floating on the sea of clouds on the 13th. It's called "the Castle in the Sky." In this area, a sea of clouds emerges in the morning in bright sunny early morning between autumn and winter.
This place was used as a location for the movie "Kagemusha" by Akira Kurosawa.



Takeda Castle was constructed in the early 15th century. It is thought to have become its present form around 1600. However, the castle was deserted after the last lord of the castle committed harakiri. Only its stone walls still exists today.

in autumn








in winter



cherry blossom season





photo by 神戸観光壁紙写真集

the season of new green leaves



















in winter



photo by 神戸観光壁紙写真集
 It is thought that Ano-shu Guild (groups of stonemasons) built its stone wall by Ano Zumi(穴太積)  which is an old method of building robust stone walls. They piled up mostly unprocessed natural stones without using joint sealer. Stone walls built using the method spread their weight and are well drained, so they tends not to collapse. The method looks so easy but requires proficient skills. So some methods using processed stones later became popular.





Ano Zumi is passed on from generation to generation, the 15th-generation Ano-shu stonemason runs a building company now. His company contracted to build a stone wall using the method along a section of the Tokai Nature Trail in Shiga Prefecture in 2004. In advance of the adoption of the method, a concrete block wall and a stone wall by Ano Zumi were tested for pressure. The stone wall was deformed but not collapsed. The concrete block wall was of lesser intensity than it.

photo by Asago City

Monday, October 8, 2012

susuki grass and cosmos

Japanese pampas grass(薄,susuki) is one of seven autumnal flowers.
Now is the best time to view a carpet of susuki flowers in Hakone Sengokuhara(箱根仙石原), Kanagawa Prefecture.

Hakone Susuki
Hakone Susuki by tokyosucks /flickr

 
Hakone Sengokuhara

すすき@仙石原,箱根
すき@仙石原,箱根 by cytech /flickr


すすき@仙石原,箱根
すすき@仙石原,箱根 by cytech /flickr

すすき@仙石原,箱根
すすき@仙石原,箱根 by cytech /flickr


Hakone Sengokuhara





photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙









Tonomine Highlands(砥峰高原) in Hyogo Prefecture
















photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

the silver sea of susuki grass

Soni Highlands(曽爾高原) in Nara prefecture













photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙





Tonomine Highlands(砥峰高原) in Hyogo Prefecture












photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙







Soni Highlands(曽爾高原) in Nara prefecture




















Cosmos is also called Akizakura(秋桜) that means "autumn cherry" in Japan. They spread across Japan in the Meiji Period.



photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙






Himawari no Oka park(sunflower hill park) in Hyogo Prefecture














photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Hiruzen Highlands(蒜山高原) in Okayama Prefecture