Matsuri (festivals) are a major part of Japanese summer. With traditional, international and fireworks festivals on the go, you could easily cram every weekend of summer full of celebration. For kids, it's all about the games and prizes (and food). Pictured is one of the standard games, where kids try to "fish" a little balloon … Continue reading Photo of the Day: Fishing for Balloons
Lily pads in a pond at Hasedera. Lily pads just make me happy.
More fishies, for no other reason than I like them. Hasedera fish pond.
These are little incense sticks stuck in ash, though they sort of look like candles on a grey birthday cake. Waving the smoke over your body is supposed to help heal it. So, if you had a bad shoulder, you would wave it over your shoulder. If you thought you could go for a better … Continue reading Photo of the Day: Incense
Within the larger Benten-Kutsu cave at Hasedera, there are one or two sub-caves so small you have to stoop to enter. Within the caves are hundreds of tiny figurines, all lined up.
One of the gardens at Hasedera is a karesansui (raked pebble garden). It's a lovely, peaceful (despite the crowds) garden off to the side, with moss and a few boulders. The moss is misted from time to time, giving it a bit of a foggy, mysterious look, albeit briefly.
Another day, another fish pond. This particular pond is at Hasedera, and is full of large koi. Most were happily swimming in circles, but one just kept opening his mouth wide and gulping.
In the caves at Hasedera, there are one or two tiny ponds. One is full of coins. The other has a sprinkling. This is the full one just as a drop of water fell.
Japan's seasons roll by drowning in wave after wave of flowers. Seriously—there is always something in bloom here. Right now, depending on which spot you visit, your eyes can feast on the very last of the azalea and irises (just the stragglers are left), brilliant roses, calla lilies, and a purple-and-white-flowered bush whose name escapes … Continue reading Photo of the Day: Lilies
At Hasedera, there is a cave called Benten-Kutsu. Inside the cave, along the walls, are carvings of Benzaiten, the goddess of the sea, and her children. It's not a big cave by any means, nor is it deep. But it's dark and damp, and quite low in places. Being at the far end of the … Continue reading Photo of the Day: Deep in Hasedera’s Cave