Great Ginkgo tree on Onishi-san


I went to Onishi-san (Nishi-honganji temple) in Kyoto for the first time in a while. All ginko trees were completely colored yellow.


There you will find a gingko tree like you have never seen them anywhere else.


With its branches appearing as though they are roots spreading up into the sky, it is sometimes referred to as an "upside-down ginkgo".


Estimated to be more than 400 years old, this splendid tree has been designated as a Natural Monument by Kyoto city. The appearance of this tree is said to be due to the sophisticated skills of ancient planters.
posted by toons at 23:53 | diary


The world's smallest sunflower in bloom!


A very small sunflower bloomed successfully.
This is the world's smallest sunflower, "Konatsu," bred in Japan. The flower size is only about 5 cm.
It is a seedless variety, so it will continue to bloom for quite a long time.
posted by toons at 13:34 | diary


Ymamahoko-junko of Gion Matsuri Atomatsuri

The Yamahoko-junko (procession of floats) of Gion Matsuri Atomatsuri was held for the first time in three years.

The Yamahoko procession will be held in the reverse order of Gion Matsuri Sakimatsuri. The procession starts at Karasuma Oike and finishes at Shijo Karasuma.

A little after 8:00 a.m., I made a fixed-point observation at Shinmachi Sanjo of the Yamahoko floats heading for the starting point. Four Yamahoko floats on Shinmachi street and one on Sanjo street will pass this point.

- Hachiman-yama

- Kitakannon-yama

- Minamikannon-yama

- Ofune-hoko

- Takayama

The highlight of this year's festival was the resurrection of Takayama after a 196-year absence.
It located on the east side of Sanjo Shinmachi, it was necessary to turn 90 degree to go north on Shinmachi street. Takayama float had a hard time turning a street at a narrow intersection.



It moved safely to Shinmachi Oike. A tapestry with an eagle design was displayed on the rear side. The brand new white wooden roof shone in the morning sun.

posted by toons at 22:56 | diary


Yoiyama of Gion Matsuri Atomatsuri


Tonight was the last Yoiyama of Gion Matsuri Atomatsuri.



Many tourists seemed to be there because it was the last day of Yoiyama.



I left early to avoid the risk of corona infection. Tomorrow's Yamahoko Junko is expected to be held under very fine weather.
posted by toons at 22:53 | diary


Gion Matsuri Atomatsuri


This evening, the eve of the Gion Matsuri Atomatsuri festival began.

The lanterns that lit up the streets of Engyojayama created a wonderful atmosphere.

posted by toons at 23:56 | diary


Yamahoko Junko of Gion Matsuri Sakimatsuri 2022


For the first time in three years, Yamahoko Junko (float procession) of Gion Matsuri Sakimatsuri was held.

It was very crowded with tourists overflowing the main parade route. The number of people was about 140,000.

The parade reached its goal at Shinmachi Oike.

The floats returned to their respective towns. However, the order of return was adjusted here because it took time for the bigger floats to turn around and Shinmachi-dori was too narrow for them to pass each other.

- Hoshoyama

- Kankokuboko : It stopped at a crank on Shinmachi Anekoji, backed up once, turned the wheel again and again, and managed to pass a house without destroying it.

- Tukihoko : Tuji-mawashi (90-degree rotation) at Shinmachi Oike, smooth and successful in three turns.
posted by toons at 23:57 | diary


Last Yoiyama of Gion Matsuri Sakimatsuri


Yoiyama of Kyoto Gion Matsuri Sakimatsuri, a little after 7:00 p.m, photo from Takakura-Shijo to Shijo street.

I could see the Naginata-boko float in the distance, but it looked dangerous to get any closer, so I avoided them by taking a side street and left the area early.

According to news reports, there were 300,000 people at 21:30. The number used to be several times as many as this, so this year's number was much smaller. But I wonder if it is safe to gather such a large number of people.
posted by toons at 23:56 | diary


Yoiyama in Kyoto Gion Matsuri Sakimatsuri


All the floats of the Gion Matsuri Festival have been finished being constructed, and the eve festival, Yoiyama (7/14-7/16) is now upon us!


The infection of Corona Omicron strain BA.5 is spreading now, so I have been watching for the best time to see when the crowds are smaller.




posted by toons at 23:58 | diary


Hoko-tate in Kyoto Gion Matsuri


Gion Matsuri is one of the three most celebrated festivals in Kyoto, which originated in people’s attempt to halt a series of raging plagues in the 9th century.

Today, Gion Matsuri began with the building of the Hoko (festival floats)!

It was raining from noon, but it stopped raining in the evening, so I went to see how it was going.

The base parts of the big floats were being built in Naginata-hoko, Kikusui-hoko, Kanko-hoko, Tsuki-hoko and Niwatori-hoko. It will be completed in about two days.

The Niwatori-hoko was being worked on, so I observed for a while. They were working on fixing the parts using only ropes, without using nails.

# Being assembled in Niwatori-hoko

# Winding the rope around the main pole.

This year, for the first time in three years, the parade of Yamahoko-junko is scheduled to resume on July 17. However, I am quite concerned because the Coronavirus omicron BA.5 infection is beginning to spread.
posted by toons at 19:48 | diary


Season of Japanese Pepper, "Sansho"

The fresh green season before summer is also the season of the Japanese pepper, "Sansho"! I look forward to this season every year.
It is characterized by a unique pungent spiciness and a wonderful citrus aroma.


Since mid-May, they have been on the market from Kochi, Wakayama, and Kyoto, in the order of warmth of the producing region.

I purchased the most famous "Budo Sansho" from Arita in Wakayama! This is because the Wakayama variety is of the highest quality and has a very nice aroma.


Removing the tiny seeds from the branches of the sansho plant is a very fine and patient process, but it is the only way to savor this seasonal treasure. I soaked a lot of prickly pear in olive oil, and also pickled them in salt and gin.



In about a week the Sansho oil will be ready as a flavored oil. If stored at low temperature in the refrigerator, the fresh aroma of Sansho can be enjoyed for a year.
posted by toons at 23:14 | diary