July 11, 2011

Milky Way on Earth

July 7th is Tanabata or Star Festival,  based on  the Chinese legend which is the sad story about two star-crossed lovers. Only once a year on July 7th, the two lovers  are allowed to meet,  crossing the Milky Way  if the weather is fine.

On the night of July 7th, Milky Way appeared in Nakanoshima, Osaka. About fifty thousand blue LED bulbs were thrown into the river and filled it with ephemeral subtle twinkling.

This event was held also to pray for the recovery of Tohoku Area hit by hideous earthquake on March 11th.

Some of my former high-school classmates and I had a reunion to enjoy this Milky Way together.  Unfortunately for the two lovers,  the night was rainy.   But the blue Milky Way gave us even more fantastic coolness because of rain. We were so enchanted that we forgot to make a wish. But we noticed that we have not seen the real Milky Way for a long time. Our cities are too bright to allow us to see the stars. We wondered when was the last time we had seen Milky Way in the sky.  It was so long ago that we could not remember. Oh, no! How about you?
After 9 o'clock, they started to collect LED bulbs.
Too soon!

Before the event, we had dinner together.
Chatting, chatting, chatting! This is a typical Japanese cuisine;
raw fish, Tempura, cooked vegetables, sesame Tofu, noodle, rice and more.

Lotus flowers and water lilies are blooming. Perhaps now is the best time
 to enjoy their beauty. A breeze over a pond gently makes ripples.

Five swallow chicks left the nest one day before Star Festival, on July 6th.
Near the nest, their Mom is feeding them.

My camera has been my best friend, but she has not been well. So now she is in a camera hospital. The last two photos were taken by her, but the photos of Milky Way were taken with another camera which I 'm not yet  used to. I don't know when she will be back.  Meanwhile, I may use old photos or just slow down and take fewer photos, because I may not be able to take satisfactory photos or not such good ones with another camera. I miss my old camera・・・・・

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  1. A fascinating festival, delicious-looking food and a charming write-up.

  2. sorry about the camera troubles. i hope she can be fixed!

    the festival of blue lights is beautiful. thanks for sharing it with us - even if you had to use another camera to do it.

    i live in the country so i can step out into the back of my house, away from the yard light, and see many stars for which i am grateful. :)

  3. I hope your camera will be repaired soon-I know it was an extension of your eyes. The food looks so good; did you eat the hot food first and then the cool?

    The Blue Light Milky Way is beautiful...we can't see the stars very well until Winter - when all the tourists go home and the houses go dark. Then we wrap up in blankets and lay on the rooftops to gaze at the stars, which look like white froth because there are so many.

  4. Hello,Snowwhite!
    楽しいfestivalに参加させて下さって有難うございます~~!Have a great day!

  5. I watched the event on TV. Your pictures are as beautiful as pro's of TV.
    I hope your camera leave the hospiotal soon. Because I want to watch your great pictures more.
    The last one is fantastic.
    Lately rainy season interrupt us to see Milky Way, doesn't it?

  6. Fantastic event to visit. Am glad to know that the festival takes place as many events are now cancelled due to the 3/11.
    I wish your best gadget friend will be back from the hospital soon. I understand how much you miss your camera:)
    Have a wonderful day.

  7. Oh no! What happened to your camera? I hope you get it back all better soon!

    I didn't know they did this at Nakanoshima. My parents live right across from Tenmabashi Stn so they probably saw it! The blue lights are beautiful. It's a lovely way to remember the people of Tohoku :-)

    Thanks for a great Tanabata post! Hope you get to make a wish next year!

  8. Texwisgirl,
    How nice it is to see many stars!
    White froth!! How gorgeous!

    Both of you are so lucky. When I was a child, I lived in Osaka. Even in the city, I could see so many stars and Milky Way. The night sky was filled with stars! Now, I live in Nara, rather rural area, but I see a fewer stars and haven’t seen Milky Way.

  9. 七夕の夜の幻想的な蒼い天の川、哀しくも美しい物語を考えた日本人の美意識を現代のLED電灯でこんなにも素敵に表現された事に感動しました。素敵なお祭りですね。ツバメの親子愛もシルエットで楽しめました。切り絵のようで綺麗です。カメラ1日でも早く良くなって返ってくるといいですね。

  10. I don’t know which photo is my favourite – whether in the dark or during the day, all your photos are outstanding.

  11. This must have been an amazing sight, I would have been very moved, too.

    Your picture of the swallows is beautiful, like a carefully planned drawing. I hope your camera is better soon!

  12. Japan seems to have most colorful and light-filled festivals all year round...this IS amazing! How I would love to see this! Simply, a stunning post!

  13. Wow what a sad story of the two lovers. I love your photos and the way you tell the stories. The lights look fantastic. I was going to ask you what happens to all those lights afterwards but in one of your photos you said they were picking up the lights. Do I am guessing they use them again next time when it isn't raining. Have a wonderful week my friend ;-)

  14. Wow! What beauty! It does remind me of the milky way! Your photos are excellent!

  15. Oh, what a wonderful festival of blue lights! How delightful and your captures are superb as always! Thank you for sharing the beauty of your world! Oh, and the food looks delicious! I love the lotus flowers and the swallow chicks!! I do hope the camera problems are solved quickly! Have a wonderful week!


  16. How wonderful to see the blue lights floating on the river - and even more wonderful that you could witness it with old friends! I, too, will soon spend time with my 4 closest women friends. We will chat, chat, chat and eat! I can easily see the stars from my high mountain home where we have no streetlights. It's easy to stargaze. Poor camera - if mine got sick, I would be very sad. Hope yours recovers soon - I would miss your posts.

  17. That looks like an awesome festival, and I liked your explanation. Great shots!

  18. The water lily reflections are lovely; the picture looks like a painting. And the glittering blue lights in the dark must look very magical, indeed. It is amazing that the lights below are so brilliant as to obscure the stars in the sky. But most dazzling of all are the friendships you have cultivated. Thanks for sharing your world. :)

  19. what a very interesting tradition.

    sorry to hear about your camera.

  20. Occasionally Nakanoshima, river-side,has some events. I went to see Christmas illuminations with my husband along the river. This time the festival was held on the river. It's fantastic!

  21. Such a sad story - I know it!

    Lovely lovely shots.

  22. That gives the word 'star-crossed' a whole new meaning :-)

  23. you have the loveliest of practices and traditions in your country. esthetically pleasing in very many ways. this only serves to spur my desire to visit your homeland. thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. I am staying in the country this past week so the starry nights are many. while in the city - not so much. those blue lights are magical. I hope you're having a fun week.

  24. I forgot - I hope you get your camera back very very soon! don't despair, all will be well again before you know it. the borrowed one takes fine photos also, but your own is favored. I believe I miss it almost as much as you!!!

  25. Festival on the water, it's apt to Osaka as "the capital of water". Osaka City seems to host interesting and enjoyable events. I have once strolled around illuminated Nakanoshima around Christmas with my friend. Other than that, Osaka has been just a transit point for me to go to Kobe. Thank you for introduction of this.

    Sorry about your loved camera. I think I know how you feel. But it’s too hot to go out these days, maybe you can take a break, though I’m not sure if you can sit still. Stay cool and happy days ahead.

  26. I wish the camera to be well as soon as possible! How can we see your nice world without it?

  27. One of my Chinese students said, "Tanabata is such a miserable story!" I laughed! I found it refreshing to read such a candid comment from a citizen of the culture where this story originated. Actually, I agree with her! The first time I heard this story, it felt like an Asian version of Romeo and Juliet. But after hearing it every year at this time, I started to get a little tired of it. Still, an excuse for some colourful celebrations.

  28. Beautiful colorful post!! What a spectacle it must have been especially witnessing it with your friends!!
    Also you are right the city lights are so bright here in Mumbai (its a dark night today, there were blasts here)...
    Have a good day:)

  29. The floating blue lights must have been even more amazing to see in person.

    A sick camera is NOT a good thing. I hope it is well very soon.

  30. Such a romantic reason to hold this festival of reunion every year. I think this is lovely, for people (not just lovers) can spend this day getting together to enjoy not only the lights, but also the companionship of friends. Thanks again for another interesting post.

  31. My friends,
    Thanks a lot for your concerns about my camera. I don't know the reason why, but inside my camera there are some dusts, so my photos had ugly stains on them. Now they are cleaning my camera.

    You are so luck that you can enjoy a number of beautiful stars!!

    Ms. Becky
    I envy you. Every year the number of stars seems to decrease from my sky. Sad・・・

  32. Hello Snowwhite!
    This appears to have been quite an amazing event ...... what was used before LED bulbs? Your dinner looks splendid and beautifully arranged.
    I wish your young swallows luck on their journey and a safe return next year.And also of course safe return of your camera!

    Happy weekend!

  33. I saw similar pictures on Asashi Shimbun yesterday.
    But it was held in Tokyo.

  34. Another legend says they are married couples, not lovers. That doesn't make any difference?
    Anyway the event must have been fascinating to see.
    I'm happy for you that you had a happy reunion. Hope your precious camera will get back to you soon.

  35. These blue water are magnificent, like flowers from another dimension.
    Have a good weekend.

  36. What a lovely post! I do hope the good camera doctor will cure her quickly and let her go home soon. I know she misses you too.

    You asked me about the Aboriginal 'dreamtime' stories,
    they are about the creation of their landscape, of the rainbow serpent and various other mythological figures handed down by story-tellers. Simple beliefs imbuing magical powers to their food animals.

  37. Beautiful lights at night!


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