May 17, 2011

Paradise of Wisteria・・・

wild wisteria flowers

 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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34 comments:

  1. This IS beautiful! simply wonderful images and narrative...

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  2. So many scenic photos, but I am picking the ones showing the curving vines as my favorites! Your shots look like they illustrate a fairy tale - nicely done!

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  3. I did not know that those flowers ae called visteria. They are beautiful. thanks for sharing the photos.

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  4. Very beautiful park with lovely flowers.

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  5. What magnificent contorted trunks on those wisteria trees. Mine are going over too, sadly. Such a spectacle, you want it to last all summer.

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  6. That it´s what I call a stunning world. No it´s magnificent!!!

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  7. The wisteria are magnificent! You are so lucky to live in a place that values beauty so highly!

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  8. Superb post, wonderful narrative and breathtaking photos for the day! What a wonderful look at your world! I would indeed love to visit there! Hope you have a lovely week ahead!

    Sylvia

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  9. terrific shots I like the circle trees very cool

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  10. incredible. i love wisteria and so this is hte place to be. love that deer roam freely too.

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  11. Such a lovely entry! I also like the wisteria a lot :)

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  12. these images are so beautiful. what a shame the wisteria chokes the other trees in order to grow.

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  13. wow!!!! nice one for myworld!!!Have a great weekdays ahead!!! Hope to see you around.

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  14. Stunning flowers and tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  15. A fairytale couldn't have been more beautiful.

    Thank you very much !

    Please have a good Tuesday.

    daily athens

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  16. This must be really amazing to see. The twisting stems make such interesting shapes,like sculpture.

    Beautiful sky!

    Have a lovely day!

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  17. 奈良にこんなに沢山の藤の花が咲くのですね!何人かの方が書いておられるように、この美しさは、実際に見ないと分からないし、奈良に来て見たくなるかもしれませんね。

    Stardustのコメントにも書きましたが、若い頃は藤の花は、どっさりと垂れ下がってて、色が地味で、好きではありませんでした。最近きれいだな~~と感じるようになりました。

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  18. What a beautiful place! No wonder you love to go there. The story about the Wisteria and Fujiwaras is fascinating. Thanks for sharing!

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  19. This is pretty special place where you live! Beautiful photos. Photography with a vision.

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  20. Beautiful photos! Particularly I love the second one. The crowns with wisteria blossoms are lovely! I have never seen them before. I also read your previous post. The greenery in Nara Park was beyond words!

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  21. Wow - such graceful and gorgeous wisteria... the beauty masking the pain of the host tree...

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  22. how can one not fall in love with japan right. can i ask you whether is it safe to travel to japan now? i really interested to visit kyoto this year end but everyone instill the fear after the nuc power plant. am confuse as my colleague in japan said its ok.

    it will be great if you can reply on my blog. and few places that you can recommend :D

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  23. The wisteria are beautiful. So nice to see the change of seasons of Nara Park through your eyes. Such a lovely spot- I can see why it is your "secret place."

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  24. Wonderful post! A beautiful place photographed in a beautiful way!

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  25. I always think that wisteria seems too glamorous to be true. In Northern countries like Britain, where we don't really have many showy plants, it's a marvellous thing to see it every year.

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  26. These photos are all wonderfully pretty. However, I find the coiling trunks the most fascinating.

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  27. This indeed looks like paradise on earth... The jumbled trunks are so intriguing, Everything here is Simply Gorgeous!

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  28. Fujiwara clan was originated from Kamatari Nakatomi/Fujiwara. Kasuga grand shrine and Kashima shrine (Jingu) in Ibaraki have so much in common but I wonder if there is wisteria in Kashima.
    It's very interesting to know that in Kasuga grand shrine, there are such a beautiful wisteria trees! It is a pity that, when I was in Nara, I did not see wisteria flowers in my eyes:(
    Thanks for sharing!

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  29. Your photos are too gorgeous for words! The history of the wisteria and the Fujiwara family is so interesting...power and strength seems to be a tricky thing for both plants and humans.

    Love how delicate the flowers look and yet are strong enough to last hundreds of years ;D

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  30. すごいね! ^0^
    i'm learning a lot from its history as i'm enjoying these fotos.
    i love lilacs so the wisterias are just dreamy as well as the lovely phoenix inspired sky you posted. ^-^
    truth to be told, i've also never seen trees like these,
    it's interesting to know how aged they can be.

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  31. I love the variety of Temples you have in Japan... Each and everyone is so special, in the treatment of its own theme... I just love the picture with the young women using wisteria as ornament... I found it very soft.

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  32. You have some beautiful photos here, thanks for sharing them and all the great info to go along with it. I love that draping wisteria...it is stunning.

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  33. A series, magnificent and varied with great photos, I encoantan landscapes with wisteria, trees full of knots, the sanctuary ... all very good

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