Early May, Nara Park becomes the paradise of wisteria flowers where both wild and caltivated ones are in full bloom. I love wild wiseria flowers.
This is my secret place to enjoy wild wisteria flowers, which is part of the grounds of Kasuga Grand Shrine . Crossing a small brook, a gently rolling grass land with the mysterious legends appears before your eyes. Here is the utopia of the deer and wild wisteria.
Now deer are shedding winter fur.
When Nara was the capital of Japan in the 8th century, the Fujiwaras were the most powerful and rich clan. They expanded their political power through marriage with the Imperial family. Fujiwara means "Wisteria Field" and they loved wisteria flowers.
However, wisteria trees are doomed that they can not live or grow without coiling other trees. The tree looks like entire wisteria tree, but the vines of the wisteria are coiling and squeezing a big tree and climbing up to the top to bloom.
The coiling vines of the wisteria look like squiggling huge snakes. The flowers are very beautiful and the color of the flowers is noble, but under the blooming flowers such quiet struggles have taken place. Maybe these coiling vines of wisteria trees are the legacy to symbolize the ancient power struggles fought among the Fujiwaras and the imperial family and other powerful clans.
This is more than 800 year-old "Sunazuri-no-Fuji (Touching the Sand Wisteria ) in front of the sanctuary of Kasuga Grand Shrine. This wisteria is very famous for its long clusters. The clusters are so long that they almost touch the sand or the ground. Last Year, the longest cluster was measured 1.6 meres in length.
Kasuga Grand Shrine was founded as a guardian shrine of the Fujiwaras,
so shrine maidens wear the crown of wisteria.
In Kofuku-ji Temple, a guardian temple of the Fujiwara family
The wisteria season has already passed and the petals of the flowers are resting on lanterns.
On the way back home, I saw this sunset. The clouds reminded me of feathers of a phoenix.
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