December 29, 2012

Come and Go

May the coming new year be the best 

for all of you, all people and all beings throughout the world. 

At this time of the year, holidays illumination events are held all over Japan. What do people think, walking under the ephemeral light of the stars? 

    I feel as if the stars were falling over us.

I imagine how the night sky of the olden days looked like. It must have been filled with subtle and transient light of stardust.  Now we are enjoying the artificial star falling night. Beautiful but I  miss the genuine  star falling night. 
 A tiny moon is over the blue twinkling stars.

Tohoku(東北) Hnad in Hand. We have prayed for Tohoku.

2012 is going to close the curtain and New Year is coming around soon.  We look back on 2012 ,and wish the coming new year the happiest and most peaceful.
A year comes and goes silently and surely.

Thank you, all my friends, for visiting my blog and leaving your warm messages.

See you next year!


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December 10, 2012

Nothing Special or Something Special

I have been amazed with the speed, I mean, everything comes and goes too fast. A few days ago, I still enjoyed the remains of beautiful autumn, but yesterday, Nara had the first snowfall of the season. And today we had the coldest day of this winter. 

Yesterday (December 9th) in Nara 

Nara had the first snow on 9th December.

Snow was melting and tiny water drops were dripping  under a dull sky.

When taking photos, I heard the sound of drums echoing. "Nara Marathon" began! This is an annual event.
About 10,000 people participated in the marathon. Many of them seemed not to mind a record, but just to enjoy running.

They were cheering up the participants with drum sounds.

A few days ago in Kyoto

Many of leaves were losing glowing autumn colors and turning muted earth colors. But they looked even more profound and tasteful.

Fallen leaves were dancing a farewell waltz in water.

Autumn was disappearing, leaving beautiful footprints.

Here I met a refined camerawoman.  We had a pleasant time to enjoy the last autumn and its reflections on a wooden floor. We took photos lying on our stomachs. Otherwise the reflections could not be captured. It must have be a funny scene if somebody had seen two women lying on the floor and taking photos.

Merry Christmas cappuccino to you
in my favorite cafe

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November 23, 2012

Autumn Wonderland

In Nara Park(奈良公園), maples and ginkgoes are boasting beautiful autumn colors
 in the thickening dusk. The  deer are going home.

 This year is very very special. Usually leaves of ginkgo trees turn shining  gold at first. Around the time the ginkgo trees are shedding leaves, maple leaves are  turning glorious autumn colors. So it is hard to enjoy both of them together at the best time. But this year we can enjoy both of them at the same time because coldness came earlier.

Is this a wonderful gift from a capricious Goddess of Autumn? The nature is weaving brocades from autumn foliage in myriad of colors. 

There is a Japanese expression "錦秋 Kinshuu" to depict the autumn beautifully decorated with autumn leaves. "錦‐Kin" means "Brocade" and "秋‐shuu" autumn.
In Nara Park.  A ginkgo tree looks like as if it wore crimson maple brocade!!

All photos were taken in Nara Park, Nara and in Jingo-ji Temple, Kyoto. 

In Nara Park,  children are playing with the deer after school.

Here is Jingo-ji temple(神護寺) on Mt. Takao(高雄山) in Kyoto. The mountain and the temple are well-known as popular maple viewing spots.  I did not see ginkgo trees here. I wished  there had been ginkgo trees.
These are the last staircases to the main hall of the temple. 
The maple trees are flaming and reaching their hands to the visitors!

 Nature pleases the eye as well as the palate. 
They are Tenpura of maple leaves, deep-fried maple leaves.
I bought them as a souvenir.

 A body of a car becomes a canvas! Nature is an artist.

The weather of the day when I visited was very bumpy. It rained and the sun appeared, and it rained again and the sun appeared repeatedly. 

But after rain, the shining of the leaves become even more brighter 
and their colors become more profound.

Oh, I found more ”Kinshuu-錦秋” here and there!! Let's enjoy with me!

Over the head

on the ground

In water

In an open-air restaurant  in a Japanese style

After dark

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November 12, 2012

Glory for a Short Time

 I often pass  a small river near my house. On the bank of the river,  there is a tiny park with Sakura cherry trees. I have never seen any people or children in this park.  I have had an impression the people have not payed attention to the park for a long time.

One day I saw this scenery. 
Autumn leaves of Sakura cherry trees are floating and flowing on the river quietly,  
basking in the late afternoon sun.

Each leave holds a shining light proudly! 

 Glorious moment for the river! I am in a right time and in a right place!
 The river and leaves are sining a song in praise of autumn.  
They are coming and coming and coming.

From time to time, the sun disappears behind clouds.

The river and fallen leaves, thank you very much. You inspired me in many ways. 
I do not drive a car. No matter where I go, I take a public transportation. So many times I have to give up going to a distant place to take photos. But you showed me  a heavenly scenery in an earthly place. You taught me "beauty is everywhere". 

Peace  and serenity in Nara Park.

I visited Tokyo with my mother to see my son last week. Mom was so happy to see him that she continued talking with him. 
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October 29, 2012

Fantasy of Pampas Grasses in Old Capital Site

I often come here to enjoy viewing the sky. This is the ancient capital site, Heijo Kyo
Imperial Audience Hall

This vast area has almost nothing except Imperial Audience Hall (大極殿) reconstructed in 2010 and Suzaku Gate (朱雀門) in 1998.  Nothing or simpleness is beautiful. Here you can see the sky changing, especially around evening twilight. 

Suzaku Gate

Once upon a time, Nara was the Capital of Japan, called Heijo-kyo (平城京).  It had been the center of the country from 710 to 784, where the emperors had held sway over Japan. When the Capital was moved to Kyoto, all structures were dismantled, transferred to and reassembled in the new capital.  So Heijo-kyo became abandoned soon, and started to be covered with paddy fields gradually.  The old capital had been forgotten and slept under the paddy fields for 1200 years.  

In 1852,  Sadamasa Kitaura (北浦定政) found the old capital had been here.  In 1952, the old capital site was designated as a Special National Historic Site (特別史跡) at last.  In 1998, this site was selected as a UNESCO World Heritage site (世界遺産). But too late. In 1914, Kinki Nippon Railway Co., Ltd. started to operate a line between Osaka and Nara. In the middle of the World Heritage Site the trains came to be running. 

In autumn, the site becomes the paradise of Japanese pampas grasses.  By showing so many different faces, they surprise me always.

They look like the manes of the running horses in wind.

Sometimes, they look like silver benevolent rain to grow plants.

Through a gentle veil of pampas grasses,  the passengers on a train are seen.

Gold waves in the ocean.

Pampas grasses have long been loved by Japanese people. Sei Shonagon (清少納言), a female writer and a court lady who wrote  "The Pillow Book (枕草子)"  at the beginning of the 11th century, mentioned;

秋の野の おしなべたるをかしさは 薄こそあれ

It means "Thanks to pampas grasses,  the autumn fields are aesthetic and elegant." Sorry  I cannot translate well.

Amazingly pampas grasses fit autumn dusk.

They are beckoning on the sunset.

The setting sun shows the last glow 
and a train is running through  pampas grass field in the ancient capital site.

Under a pale crescent.  It is a fantasy.

 If I am lucky enough, I can encounter such a dramatic sunset.

Visit Skywatch Friday and see more!!