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Posts Tagged ‘spring’

I’m productively procrastinating on a post about Ôoku, so in the meantime, you get more photos!

My partner and I went to Oregon last week and while we were there we visited the Portland Japanese Garden, which just reopened to the public on March 1, 2016. We may have missed the cherry blossoms and came too early for roses in the Portland Rose Garden, but it was a lovely spring day and there were plenty of azaleas blooming.

We even had a great view of Mt. Hood:

Portland Japanese Garden  | The Lobster Dance 16

Image: view of snow-covered Mt. Hood from Washington Park, Portland

 

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Held in Nanao, Ishikawa pref., every May, the Seihakusai Festival (青柏祭) features three enormous floats that are said to ward off evil monkeys. (There’s lots of good information in English on Experience Kanazawa.) The Noto region of Ishikawa is famous for its summer festivals, but they’re not just kiriko (huge lantern) festivals.

Behold the dekayama:

Seihakusai Festival @ The Lobster Dance

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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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I’m actually shocked it took me this long to get to Nijô Castle. When I travel to Kyoto, I’m perpetually hanging out near Sanjô/Kawaramachi/Teramachi, but when my parents came to visit, we had dinner plans in Osaka and no plans for the morning. Normally I take my new-to-Kansai friends to geek out in DenDen Town or enjoy the onsen of Spa World, but my parents, being neither into the anthropology of otaku culture nor “public bathing,” merited going out of my standard destinations. Nijô Castle (Nijôjô) was close to where we were staying in Kyoto, so we decided to head there.

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