I was fascinated by this handle which was on a small standing structure on the grounds of Matsunoo Taisha Shrine in Arashiyama, Kyoto. It was surprisingly small and I loved the care given to the design - those two symmetrical dragon heads and the lovely scales on the main section. I wonder about who designed it and who made it (the same person?), and what considerations where made during the process. Ah, so beautiful... Thank you, whoever you were! (I image it is quite old but, to be honest, I don't really know.)
Kyoto holds its Hanatouro Festival twice a year. "Hanatouro" means "path with flower and light" and the streets are filled with lanterns, illuminated installations, and huge ikebana arrangements. Oh, and lots of people, of course!
We have enjoyed the one held in March on the eastern side of Kyoto many times. However, we had never been to one held in December in Arashiyama, the opposite side of Kyoto. Not until last weekend, that is. To be honest, my expectations weren't all that high. My favorite part of Arashiyama is the temples but most of them would be closed in the evening so...
Well, I should have known better. It was fantastic! We had to be creative to avoid the worst of the crowds but it was certainly worth the effort. The bamboo forest was much more dramatic than I expected and the various illumination installations and ikebana arrangements along the route were quite beautiful.
Perhaps my favorite part of the evening was visiting Hogonin Temple. The temple grounds were lit up and the the fall foliage was spectacular. I have wandered through this area multiple times but had no idea the temple was even there. I will most certainly be back.
You are always full of surprises.
Arashiyama Hantouro Illumination Homepage: http://www.hanatouro.jp/e/arashiyama/
Top Photo: Hogonin Temple grounds
Bottom Photo: An ikebana arrangement on the way to the temple
Today we spent the afternoon meandering through the grounds of Yoshimine Temple on the outskirts of Kyoto, marveling at the vibrant fall colours. This temple isn't on any "autumn foliage viewing" list that I know of so, although it was quite busy, thankfully there were no crowds and we could enjoy the grounds at our leisure. The fall foliage and the views of Kyoto were spectacular! Ah, such a glorious day!!
(No, I did not manipulate the colours in the image below, or use a filter. No, it was just that kind of a day today - a day of blue skies, beautiful light, and the most amazing fall colours.)
Yesterday, after visiting the hydrangea garden in Yanagidani Kannon in western Kyoto, we stopped in at a small JA shop. (JA = Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives) We picked up some fresh vegetables and, as we headed to the register, I noticed several buckets full of lilies and hydrangea. The hydrangea were a variety I love, but rarely see, and I ended up buying 5 stalks for about $2.00 for the whole bunch. Oh, and 5 stalks of lilies for the same price.
As we were paying, the cashier asked if I wanted cuttings as well. Cuttings? Apparently it is easy to grow hydrangea from cuttings and she just happened to have 4 of the same variety I was buying. In fact, probably from the same plant. Did I want them?! YES, PLEASE! So, my task for today has been figuring out how to prepare the cuttings properly. I've never done this before and if it works, I will be so pleased! I will keep you posted. In the meantime, the flowers below are now brightening my kitchen counter. (Update: Alas, no luck at all...)
P.S. This link illustrates 4 methods for growing hydrangea from cuttings. I'm using method 3. https://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Hydrangea-from-Cuttings
Today we got up early and drove to Yanagidani Kannon (Yokokuji Temple) up in the hills in western Kyoto. They have a big hydrangea festival tomorrow which we wanted to avoid (it will be a zoo of people!) and so today was the day. Neither of us had been there before and weren't sure what to expect but it was lovely! There were more varieties of hydrangeas than the garden we visited last week, including several that I've never seen before. Also, throughout the garden, were mossy stone basins filled with water, flowers and petals. They proved to be very popular! (Yes, instagram is a big thing here.)
I'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.