Category Archives: Nature

Sakura

This picture shows just how beautiful it is right now.  There are some trees that are nearly in full bloom, but most are still just starting out.  Next week, the trees will be in full bloom.  It’ll be great for pictures!

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It’s sakura time!

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Filed under Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Nature

Giant grasshoppers of Japan

This morning, on my way to work, I encountered this little guy:

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Holy crap! It’s huge!

It was a grasshopper, and boy was it ever big.  It was about 4 or 5 cm long!  I’d never seen a grasshopper that big before.  I’ve mentioned before that Japan has a lot of large, creepy animals.  I just hope I don’t run into a Huntsman spider.

Anyway, Exploring Gifu will be coming tomorrow night.

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Early Cherry Blossoms: Kawazuzakura

Today, as I was going shopping, I happened upon a pleasant surprise.  It was Kawazuzakura, or Kawazu cherry trees.  This variety is from the Izu Peninsula of Shizuoka, and is a bright pink.  It blooms from late February to mid-March.  Very nice surprise, don’t you think?

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Riverside Kawazuzakura.

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Filed under Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Nature

December foliage

November and December is a colourful time in Japan.  This time is known as “koyo.”  The leaves are changing colour, yellow, orange, and red.  The gingko trees are a brilliant yellow.  The maples trees are a mix of red and orange.  The cherry trees are also red, but most of the leaves are gone now.

This morning, I was able to take some pictures of the trees.  So, please enjoy!

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These trees are related to the gingko, and are also bright yellow. Many of the leaves have fallen off.

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Engyou Park in Shonandai has some beautiful red maple trees.

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More Engyou Park with red and orange maple trees.

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Filed under Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Nature

2012 Picture of the Week (43/52) – Japanese Black Pine Tree

The Japanese black pine tree is one of the most recognizable trees from Japan.  It’s famous, in fact.  It’s one of the primary trees used in bonsai.  This tree is also the official city tree of Fujisawa, which is where I live.  You can see them everywhere along the coast.  They’re very tough trees, and they can withstand the strong winds and blowing sands that come off the beach.  They’re excellent at blocking sand from reaching further inland, as well.  These trees can grow quite tall, but they’re also commonly seen as small trees.  In Tsujido Kaihin Park, there are plenty of Japanese black pines.  You’ll know them when you see them, as they don’t exactly grow straight up.  This picture shows the trunks of a grove of Japanese black pine trees.

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The trees tend to bend away from the beach, which is the direction the wind comes from.

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2012 Picture of the Week (42/52) – Signs of fall

Japan is very well known for its colourful foliage in autumn.  Although places like Canada have already changed colour, here in the Kanto area of Japan, we still have mostly green trees.  In fact, most trees will stay green until sometime in November.  Japanese maple trees are famous for their bright yellow, orange, and red leaves, but that’s not until December.  But now, the ginkgo trees are slowly changing to a light green, while the cherry trees are showing some red leaves.  This is a picture of Kirihara Park with its many cherry trees beginning to change colour.

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These cherry trees are showing new colour.

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Filed under Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Nature, Picture of the Week

Where are the cicadas?

This is the time of year that the sound of summer fills the air, cicadas. But where are they? I haven’t heard any. It’s eerily quiet.

So, why are they late? Could it have something to do with the unusually cool weekend we had? It was hot enough last week to bring them out, but nothing. I think it has to do with the cooler than normal spring and rainy season.

Hopefully, they’ll be out soon and we can hear their constant noisy song. I kind of miss them.

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Filed under Nature, Weather