Showing posts with label ohanami. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ohanami. Show all posts

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Weeping Cherry of Senjuin Temple


Senjyuin Temple to the northeast of Matsue Castle is a hidden cherry blossom viewing spot.

The temple was moved here from Gassan Toda, the site of the original domain castle and rebuilt here when the new Matsue Castle was built. It occupies the strategic NE position to protect the castle from evil influences in much the same way that Enryakuji protects Kyoto.

It has some regular cheery trees but the pride of place is a shidare zakura, a weeping cherry, said to be at least 200 years old.

The venerable tree has its branches supported by a framework of bamboo and there were a couple of photographers there taking pics of the ephemeral blossoms. I did not know it was blooming before I visited.

I have visited Senjyuin Temple numerous times, and as a temple on the Izumo Kannon Pilgrimage I posted about it a long time ago.

The previous post in this series exploring Matsue was the nearby Togaku Zen Temple and its intriguing statues.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Cherry Blossom Viewing 2020

Cherry blossom viewing, Ohanami in Japanese, has been going on recently, though with somewhat less of the usual drunken revelry found in big city parks. I personally prefer the plum blossoms, but I obviously lack the required amount of Yamato damashii. This first photo is what I see in my neighbors garden on my way to my garden each day.

While working in my garden I can see this line of trees alongside our little commuunity center. Behind the center is another line of cherry trees in bloom, a long line from there up to the main road, and a line of them in front of the shrine.

The hillsides in every direction are mottled with yamazakura with a range of tints from  white to the red of middle of the blossoms after the white petals have fallen off. These pointillist canvases I find far more appealing.

Of course when I return to my house, this is the view I have. I planted this cherry tree right in front of my door a couple of years after we moved in.

The blossoms in these last two photos are the most exciting for me though. The first photo is of my lima bean plants, and the second  my pea plants. These blossoms indicate that, barring any misfortune, I will soon have plenty of fresh, organic, delicious food to eat....

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Nobeoka Castle Ruins

Origunally called Agata Castle, Nobeoka castle was never very big and didn't even have a keep, ony a three-story turret that only lasted 30 years before burning down.

Built on a small hill at the junction of two rivers, a succession of clans controlled the castle with the Naito holding it until the castle was decommissioned in 1870.

There are no buildings left but the gate was rebuilt in 1993. Like most castle ruins the grounds are now planted in cherry trees.

a more than twenty meter high wall supposedly would collapse and crush 1,000 attackers should a single keystone be removed. Saigo held the castle briefly in 1870.

Now it is a popular ohanami spot.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Kyushu Pilgrimage Day 11 Beppu to Oita

This is somewhat how I felt on the morning of my eleventh day of walking around Kyushu. After 2 days of miserable, grey, drizzly weather, the sky was clear and blue. The statue is of Kumahachi Aburaya, the entrepeneur who put Beppu on the tourist map and was to a large extent responsible for modern Japanese tourism....

Heading south out of Beppu I took lots of shots of the colorful manhole covers of the town before stopping in at the big Hachiman Shrine with its pair of giant cedars.

After heading down the coast I cut inland to get to Yusuhara Hachimangu, the major shrine of the area and home to a set of fantatsic carvings adorning the main gate,... from there downhill all the way into the outskirts of Oita City.

At Funai castle ruins I caught this married couple having their wedding photos taken among the cherry blossoms. Nearby was an older building designed by Oita native Arata Isozaki that now contains a small museum of his models and drawing which was a real delight.

I then headed to the hills to te south of the city center where there were some older temples, shrines, & Buddhist carvings.....

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cherry Blossoms at Tamatsukuri Onsen

Now that several months have passed since the cherry blossom viewing season its time for me to post on the subject.

I am not a huge fan of Ohanami,.... seems to be more of a city thing. I like the mountainsides with their wild sakura as they appear and fade like slow motion fireworks. but the overkill of white that has mostly been planted in the modern, urban Japan don't do anything for me.

However, as I walked through Tamatsukuri Onsen on my way to the final temple on the Izumo 33 Kannon Pilgrimage, the river that runs through the town and down into lake Shinji was lined with cherry tree in full bloom.

It helped that there were no blue tarps under the trees filled with people drinking and eating....

Tuesday, April 2, 2013



Time for the obligatory cherry blossom pictures......

I don't have to go far for Ohanami..... after we moved into our house we planted a cherry sapling in front of our front door and its now a decent size....


Actually I much prefer the Yamazakura, the wild cherry trees that grow on the mountainsides..... as I understand it these were the trees that historically were viewed.....


The species that now dominates the cities are a fairly modern hybrid and have been planted since the Meiji period. It has pure white blossoms and only blooms for a much shorter period. This species was also aggresively planted in the countries colonized by Japan and adopted as a symbol for the cannon fodder who were supposed to sacrifice their short lives for the glory of Japan and the Emperor.

 I much prefer the other species that have some color in them

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sheep shearing & Cherry Blossom Viewing


A friend in a nearby village has started raising a small flock of sheep and we went up to visit while they started the shearing. Good job I did. They started by two people holding on to a poor sheep while one of them worked on it with some electric clippers.

First thing I showed them were the 2ways to tie up a sheep so it can be sheared by a single person.


Next I showed them how to shear most efficiently so that the fleece comes off pretty much in one-piece.

It sure was good to be covered in lanolin and sheepshit again......


Also took the opportunity to do a bit of cherry blossom viewing. I was out of the country for the mania that is Ohanami in Japan. Seems to be a thing for city-dwellers, and Ive never really gotten how getting drunk while sitting on a blur tarp indicates a unique Japanese love of nature, but up in the hills there was still lots of cherry trees in bloom on peoples farms and hillsides.


The upper photo is a Shidare Zakura, a species of Weeping Cherry and the pink/red hue was really intense. The lower photo is a Yae Zakura, with big solid groups of blossoms. I prefer both species to the standard one.


We also came across a huge pile of discarded wood that once cut and transported down the valley to our place should just about see us through next winter for firewood.

A good day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sakura madness finale


Well,.. the sakura are in full bloom now, and still no sign of blue tarps!

I've come to the conclusion that Ohanami is pretty much a thing of the cities and towns.

For the first few ohanami seasons I experienced in the countryside I asked my neighbors if they had been cherry blossom viewing, and they just looked at me quizzicly.


The main reason I think is because cherry trees are everywhere round here! In any direction you look there are cherry trees. In fact they cherry trees outnumber the people, whereas in the towns and cities people outnumber the cherry trees by a factor of many hundreds. So, round here cherry blossom viewing is not a special activity, its just something you do everyday.

A drive to Ato 6820

I prefer the wild cherry trees that are scattered all over the mountainsides rather than the ones planted densely in lines.

A walk from Ato to Tsuwano 6878

But my favorite view is at night.

A walk from Ato to Tsuwano 7012