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February 2011

February 25, 2011

Tokyo Sky Tree in a convex mirror

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February 23, 2011

The special cruise, "Yokohama Port and three bridges" マニアックなクルーズ「横浜港と三橋物語」

I enjoyed the special cruise, "Yokohama Port and three bridges". This 90-minute cruise departs from and arrive at Pier Zou-no-hana. While passing through Yokohama Bay Bridge, Tsurumi Tsubasa-bashi Bridge and Daikoku-Ohashi Bridge, we can see the industrial areas. The ship ran faster than I expected. The sea wind was colder than I thought. It was not easy to take good pictures because of the pitch and the coldness. I am not fascinatd with indusrial areas so much but this cruise was very interesting. Especially I was moved by the groups of gantry cranes in Honmoku container berth.

Reparing the bamboo fences of the old tea house

I went to Yokohama Sankei-en Garden to see "ume" blossoms.  "Garyobai" (臥竜梅) have just begun to bloom.  The trunks of these trees look like a crawling dragon.
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At Rengein (蓮華院) in the Inner Garden (内苑), a gardener was repairing the bamboo fence.  According to him, he repairs the fence once in about ten years, using "madake" (真竹) and "mosochiku" (孟宗竹) bamboos.
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The part of the fence which had already finished repairing was very beautiful.

February 21, 2011

Kobai-en Garden (香梅園)

I went to Mukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens (向島百花園) to see "ume" (plum) blossoms.  At this garden, I happened to get some information about Kobai-en Garden (香梅園) at Katori Shrine (香取神社).  I decided to stop by this garden on my way home. 

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Kobai-en Garden was not so big, but I was very surprised that there were many rare kinds of plum blossoms.
In the late Edo Period, there was a large famous plum garden, called "Komurai-Baien" (小村井梅園) near the shrine.  But it was ruined by the flood in Meiji Period.  "Kobai-en" Garden was opened in 1994 by the chief priest of Katori Shrine, who had wanted to reopen the plum garden in this place.

February 20, 2011

How to enjoy Japanese tea well

I took part in the mini-lectures for about 15 minutes at Shinsen-tei in Rikugien Gardens.  In this lecture, the instructor told us how to make Japanese tea (especially "Fukamushi-cha") well.  I could learn some useful tips.  Two cups of teaserved by the instructor tasted very good, of course.

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Bookbinding workshop at Misuzudo

Yesterday, I took part in the bookbinding workshop at Misuzudo to make an original picture book. Right after I had finished binding, the cover of my book seemed to be bent a little. After I came back home, I put a weight on it and left it untouched overnight. This morning, I removed a weight from my picture book. I was relieved to find the binding was not so bad.

February 18, 2011

Weeping plum blossoms at Ushi-Tenjin (Kitano Shrine)

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The wind was too strong today...

February 16, 2011

Preparing for the binding workshop

I'll take part in the binding workshop at Misuzudo this weekend.  To bind my original picture book, I printed some photos and haiku on 12 sheets.  These contents were all taken (or written) during my life in Matsue for 2 years.

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February 15, 2011

The day after snowing

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Ume blossoms at Kameido Tenjin Shrine

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an adonis at Yushima Tenjin Shrine

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The snow on huge numbers of "ema" tablets had almost melted.

February 08, 2011

Hatsu-uma Festival 初午祭

Hatsu-uma Festival(初午祭) and Kite Fair (凧市) were held at Ouji Inari Shrine and Shozoku Inari Shrine.

A full-dress wolf(?) visited at Shozoku Inari Shrine.
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In front of Shozoku Inari Shrine, a fox was performing a traditional dance.
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In Ouji Inari Shrine, handmade kites were sold.
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February 04, 2011

Experiencing "Mizuhiki" 水引しおり制作体験

Modern "Mizuhiki" artworks are now sold at Tobu department store in Ikebukuro.  In this special event, we can try to make a small bookmark using "Mizuhiki"'s basic technique, "Awaji Musubi." for only 315 yen!
I tried "Mizuhiki", too.  Ms. Shimizu, a "Mizuhiki" craftworker, kindly taught me how to make it.  After about half an hour, I could make these...

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I could learn about "Mizuhiki" a lot, and enjoyed it very much.

February 03, 2011

Bean-scattering ceremony at Koganji Temple (Togenuki-Jizo)

Celebrities and "Toshi-otoko" and "Toshi-onna" (persons who were born in the corresponding animal year of the Chinese zodiac) threw beans, chanting "Fuku wa uchi (Luck in)!" At Togenuki-Jizo, they don't say "Oni wa soto (Devils out)!" In some shrines and temples, things other than beans (oranges, cheap sweets, towels and so on) are scattered, too. But at Togenuki-Jizo, the things which are scattered are only beans. and they are not packed at all. Most visitors were prepared for a bag for catching beans.

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After the ceremony, the red demon and the blue demon were surrounded by many people.  From what I heared, staffs of the local credit union played the roles of these demons.
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