Tag Archives: spring

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.


Filed under Nature, Weather

2012 Picture of the Week (17/52) – Tsutsuji after the rain

As spring continues, everything is growing incredibly fast. Within the past week, grass has grown quite long, trees have grown a lot of leaves, and many flowers have bloomed. This is probably the most beautiful time of spring. After the rain, everything is very fresh. I took this picture of a Tsutsuji flower, a type of rhododendron, in a park near my home.

A beautiful pink tsutsuji rhododendron flower.

Leave a comment

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

2012 Picture of the Week (16/52) – Signs of spring

It’s definitely spring now. I love this time of year, not only because of the comfortable weather in the low 20s, but also because of the fresh new leaves and plant growth. The bright green colour is wonderful. Here are some interesting flowers surrounded by green.


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

2012 Picture of the Week (11/52) – Ume Blossoms

Japanese plum trees, or ume, usually start blooming around the end of February. But this year, they’re late. I had a little time yesterday before work, so I went to Kodomo Shizen Koen (park) in Makigahara, and I found this tree blooming. Cherry trees should be blooming in a couple weeks. Spring is coming!

Plum tree in full bloom.


Filed under Asahi-ku, Japan, Kanagawa, Nature, Picture of the Week, Yokohama

Exploring Japan: Engakuji in Spring – March 26, 2010

This was my third stop in my Spring in Kamakura walk.  Engakuji is located near Kita-Kamakura station, and is easy to get to.  It’s not as large as Kenchoji, but it is still quite large.  It was founded in 1282, and is one of the most important Zen Buddhist temples in Japan.  Hojo Tokimune, a once ruler of Japan, is buried here.  Enjoy the spring pictures!

Barely blooming cherry blossoms in front of Engakuji's Sanmon.

Cherry tree and temple buildings.

This is a great tree. Notice the caves in the cliff behind it?

Another collection of temple buildings. Engakuji is a large complex.

At the back of the temple complex, there's a garden with plenty of flowers.

A closeup of some of the flowers.

Engakuji is a very green temple. Plenty of trees surrounded by the hills of the Kamakura Alps.

As I said, Engakuji is very easy to get to.  I used to be able to walk there from my old apartment in Ofuna within 15 minutes.  Here’s a map:


Filed under Japan, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Nature, Temples

Exploring Japan: Spring at Kenchoji – March 26, 2010

This is part 2 of 3 of my Springtime in Kamakura set of photos.  After Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, I visited Kenchoji.  Kenchoji is the most important Zen training monasteries in Japan, and is also quite old.  It was started in 1253.  These photos are not a guide to Kenchoji, as I only feature flowers and the temple’s Main Gate, or Sanmon.  Enjoy the photos.

With cherry trees beginning to bloom, here is the Sanmon (Main Gate) of Kenchoji, which was built in 1754.

The Sanmon is hiding behind some blossoms.

There aren't many cherry blossoms yet.

Here's a great tree.

A close-up of some blossoms that have yet to bloom.

There are other flowers at Kenchoji, too.

To find Kenchoji, check out this map.  It can be accessed by walking south from Kita-Kamakura Station or walking north from Tsurugaoka Hachimangu.

Leave a comment

Filed under Japan, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Nature, Temples

Exploring Japan: Spring at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu – March 26, 2010

It was early spring, the cherry trees were blooming, and it was a great day to go walking through some of Kamakura’s most famous sites.  This is the first of three parts showing three famous places.  First up is Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, the centre of Kamakura, and the city’s largest shrine.  I started at Wakamiya Oji again and walked up to the shrine, mostly taking pictures of cherry blossoms.  At the shrine, I got to see the aftermath of a bad storm that hit the region on March 10, just 16 days before.  Unfortunately, the famous ginkgo tree that stood next to the stairs leading to the shrine’s main building had fallen.  But all is not lost, the roots were still alive and the tree is growing again.  Enjoy the pictures.

The cherry trees are blooming on Wakamiya Oji.

Cherry blossoms and a beautiful blue sky.

More cherry blossoms along Wakamiya Oji.

A closer look to the cherry blossoms.

Cherry blossoms very up close.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu San no Torii, the great gate at the entrance of the shrine.

This arched bridge could only be used by the Shogun.

There are large ponds at the shrine, and this one has an island. See the heron?

Sadly, the old ginkgo tree that was here was knocked down during a storm on March 10, 2010. This tree is famous for being the hiding spot where Minamoto no Sanetomo was murdered by his nephew.

Here's a section of the tree. This picture was taken only 16 days after it fell.

Here's the remaining stump. Since this picture was taken, the tree has shown that it's still alive and growing.

For Tsurugaoka Hachimangu’s location, please check out this map:

This post is taking part in “Show Me Japan #32.”


Filed under Japan, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Shrines