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Posts Tagged ‘summer’

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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Tsuyu (梅雨), the rainy season, has officially hit the majority of Honshu according to the JMA. The name literally means plum rain, as this is the time of year when the plums ripen. Even though Kanazawa has been suspiciously sunny for several weeks, as soon as I returned from Tokyo on Monday morning, the air felt sticky and oppressive. The rain will come, and then the heat that steals my motivation to do anything but consume liters of iced teas.

The one bright point in the humid horror of tsuyu is the flowers, particularly the hydrangeas (ajisai, アジサイ) and the irises (hanashôbu, 花菖蒲). Kamakura, one of the old capitals and home to the Daibutsu and a stretch of temples that could take all day to explore, is famous for their hydrangeas. Finding myself in Tokyo for a performance of Elisabeth (my favorite musical–review of the 2012 show to come),  I decided to see if the hydrangeas were blooming more than in Kanazawa, downloaded the Kamakura hydrangea walking course information, set off to enjoy those bunchy globes of blooms.


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On 6 August, I headed down to Mikawa for the Kawakita Matsuri (川北まつり) and Hokkoku Shinbun Fireworks (北國大花火川北大会), the biggest fireworks display in Ishikawa. The festival is held every year in Tedorigawa (手取川), out in the middle of nowhere south of the city, on the first Saturday in August. Shuttle buses and flat-rate taxis run from Mikawa Station (美川駅) to the festival site.

It wouldn’t be a festival in Ishikawa if there weren’t something to light on fire, though.

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