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Posts Tagged ‘Kanazawa’

Photo of Kazuemachi tea district, Kanazawa, in the snow

January 2012, Kanazawa.

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…Suddenly I thought of an old friend
Separated from me by miles of mountain and rivers.
Will we ever meet again?
I gaze toward the sky,
Tears streaming down my cheeks.

-Taigu Ryôkan (1758-1831), translated by John Stevens (Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf)

Mt. Hakusan, July 2010

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Sakura Roof @The Lobster Dance

 

While we did get a few spectacularly sunny days in Kanazawa for hanami, two cold fronts and storms rolled through during the two weeks of blooming. Kanazawa, moody as always.
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Utatsuyama (卯辰山) is a small mountain in Kanazawa that stands taller than even the castle, and the Utatsuyama Park (卯辰山公演) area, accessible from Higashi Chaya-gai (tea district), is home to a number of gardens, including the iris garden I visited last summer. Last week, I hiked to the plum grove, which, in addition to Kenrokuen’s much larger plum grove, is one of the best places to view the plum blossoms in the city.

Utatsuyama, The Lobster Dance

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“In a Station of the Metro”
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
— Ezra Pound

Plum Buds 2012

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Photos take at Kenrokuen, Kanazawa, 17 Nov. 2012.

Text: selections from「金沢の雨」(Kanazawa no Ame) by Miyuki Kawanaka (川中美幸) (my translation)

東京言葉と 加賀なまり
I love Tokyo words with a Kaga accent

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What have we learned about Halloween in Japan this year?

Kanazawa Forus

Although Halloween seems to be mainly marketed through food in the broader consumer world, Halloween decorations in retailers and for home use seem to be growing in popularity and availability.

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After my ajisai adventures in Kamakura, I decided to try my luck in Kanazawa. Kenrokuen, our most famous garden, shockingly has no hydrangeas! I didn’t go until late June, so I was a little late for iris season. However, I was able to capture this picture of a butterfly on one of the few remaining irises.

Dissatisfied with Kenrokuen (seriously, no hydrangeas?), I decided to try my flower-viewing luck at Utatsuyama’s iris garden (hanashôbuen, 花菖蒲園), which is located up the “mountain” (hill, really) of Utatsuyama, behind the Higashi Chaya-gai (東茶屋街).

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Plum blossoms in Kenrokuen. 6 April 2012.

I admire plum blossoms more than sakura on principle. Plum blossoms bloom in the last throes of winter, often surviving Ishikawa’s final snow storm. They smell sweeter and are more tenacious. There’s nothing sakura can do in form or shape that a plum can’t: they can be subtly tinged with pink or violently fuchsia; they can hang from delicate weeping boughs or bloom among thick, gnarled branches. But perhaps because of their staying power, taking several weeks to blossom fully, then remaining for another week or so before fading, they don’t induce the same joie de vivre that their more famous cousin, the cherry blossom, does.

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Happy 100th post to me!

There’s a lot of Kanazawa that visitors don’t see. This is probably because the main roads, which are the bus routes, are easier to stick to when walking, particularly those that lead from the station to Kohrinbo and Katamachi, the heart of downtown. The narrow back streets, however, are much easier to use when biking, and biking everywhere in Kanazawa has really opened my eyes to this area I didn’t know existed.

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