Saturday, April 15, 2017

Tomoko's Diary...April(2)

Dear Friends,

           Mostly Japanese people know one of the remarkable Samurai ”Toyotomi Hideyoshi” legend(1536-1598) in Japanese history.
                                           He was born a peasant and yet rose to finally end the War Period.

                   This is the Kodaiji Temple in Kyoto where Hideyoshi’s widow” Nene” lived to pray for his soul until the end of her life.

                   As a woman, I am one of many women who are interested in Nene’s life getting through the turbulent time.
                                    I took a trip to Kyoto, wanted to see just one sakura tree in the temple’s garden.

                                                                                                                                                                                     April 5....9:30 A.M

                                                                                                   from corridor

                                                                                                      from  Nene's room


                                                                                        This is a playground near my house.                               
                                                                    Our neighbors call this place Sakura Park.                                              

                                                                                                          April 12                                                                                       

                                                                                     Children gathered playing ball games.

                                                                                       Sakura blossoms are falling.
                                                     Seeing little children playing here always makes me smile.
                                                                                                             April 13

                                                                                               the sakura petals dancing

                                                         Thank you for visit, and I always appreciate your kind comments. 
                                                        My daily life will be busy with lot’s of other things to do. 
                                                     From next Monday, I will be away from blogging for a while.  

                                                                              Happy day to you!



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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Tomoko's Diary....April(1)


                                  The Sakura blossoms were still budding when I went to Nara Park on March 31.
                    While leisurely strolling through Nara Park, I felt the softly falling rain and watched the ever widening ripples 
                                                               on the pond among the water lily pads.

                                             The color of these  water lily pads was  actually reddish brown 
                                       however, somehow the color turned to pink by my camera without any editing.   
                                                                              I do not know why......                               
                                                                                            March 31     

                                             My camera made such a miracle art.I was not certainly disappointed,
                                                 and just added a little light on these photos as an edit.

                                                                            Looks cold..... but spring is on the way.

                                                             This is my favorite Japanese antique shop near Nara Park. 
                                                                  They also serve green tea to customers.                                        

                      They have a small garden arranged with the white stones and the old dying trees at the shop's side window. 

                                                      traditional Japanese aesthetic world..Wabi Sabi is here.

                                                This week, finally some early-bloom types of Sakura trees began opening.
                                       I looked cherry blossom forecast up and went to see the Sakura flowering in Kyoto.   
                                                                           Honmanji Temple in Kyoto
                                                                                                                                                                                                April 5

                                                                                            Thank you for visit.



Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tomoko's Diary....March(2)


The graduation season falls in March in Japan.
                        It is always lovely to see young girls and boys dressed in formal wear going for their graduation 
                             this time of the year. I went to the Kyoto Station building to see my friends the other day.
                        I glimpsed some girls dressed in Hakama around the station, and got to know that a graduation ceremony 
                        would be held at Doushisha Girl's University, located in the center of Kyoto City.After having a pleasant time 
                      with my friends at a tearoom, I decided to drop by the University to enjoy seeing the brilliant graduating girls.
before the ceremony

                                                            They wore a traditional Japanese garment Hakama over a kimono. 
                              Many female students traditionally wear Hakama to their university or college graduation ceremony. 
                                                                            We call them Hakama girls.

                                                                                                  in front of the ceremony hall

                                                                         I liked to see their fashionable colors of Hakama and kimono.  
                 I remember that ,a long time ago,I wore a plain dark blue Hakama over a plain pink kimono to my graduation day.
                                                                           It was simple back then.
                                                                   Congratulations, Hakama girls!                                                                                                                                                   I felt myself young again.


                                            This is a unique hedge I found while walking in my neighborhood.
                                                                  It is supposed to be over 50 years old.
                                                The house owner has nurtured carefully the hedge of Kaizuka plants
                                                             until it has become a big bonsai looking one.

Sakura will be in full bloom soon in April.
                                                    April is the beginning of Japan's fiscal year for most of the companies,                          
                                                                 and school years also start from April.

                                                                                         Thank you for visit.



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Tomoko's Diary....March (1)


My two friends drove three hours to see their favorite singers in concert in Osaka.
Using this opportunity, my friends and I arranged to meet for lunch "Okonomiyaki" 
at the "Ground Front Osaka" next to the Osaka station prior to their concert.

                                                  Okonomiyaki is a casual Japanese food cooked on an iron plate, 
                                                               which began and is still popular in Osaka.
chief cook

                                              Here, these young cooks make Okonomiyaki for their customers.
                                         Giving me a permission to take photos of them, they told me, "Go ahead. 
                                                   Take as many as you want!" giving me their big smile.


                                              A lot of sliced cabbage and a little batter are the basic ingredients.
                                To this base other foods are added, such as meat, seafood, noodles, or whatever you want.
                                 I  add tofu and avocado when I make Okonomiyaki at home. Very delicious and healthy.


                                                      They were so friendly. How can I resist showing their great smiles!
                                                                                                noodle Okonomiyaki        

                                                                    Thank you again for your nice food, young cooks! 

                                                         It is sad. I missed taking photos of the Okonomiyaki they made for me.
                                                                       Just see here,okonomiyaki.

                                                       The other day, again, I went to Osaka. This is the Osaka Castle garden. 
                                                              Ume flowers were turning to red and pink.
                                                                                           Osaka castle garden                

                                                                                    little children hiking with their teachers

                                                                                        Thank you for visit.

          コンサートの為にはるばる大阪に来た友人と 大阪グランドフロントにあるお好み焼き屋さんオモニでランチしました。

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tomoko's Diary.....February(2)


There were many days with powdery snow in February this year, which I have found beautiful.
                           I watched the snow falling through my window panes, wishing to see snow creating a beautiful 
                           deep carpet in my garden. But, the snow melted on the ground too soon, as in this part of Western Japan,
                           the climate is usually mild. So, I quickly dressed warmly, hurried outside with my camera.

                                                                                                   temple  garden                            

                                                                                          snow falling on the lantern

                                                                                                         in silence

                                                                                                   tori-i gate


                                                                     Flu is still going around in Japan.
                                       My mother 95 caught the flu, so she was carried to an emergency hospital and 
                                       spent a week in the ICU. Thanks to the excellent medical care, she is recovering now  
                                                       and receiving some rehabilitation in the hospital. 

                                                          It was a miracle to survive this illness at her elderly age.
                                                           I prayed, saying thank you God in my heart.


                                                                       Japanese apricots  flowering  in the warm sunshine.
                                                                     They tell the coming of spring.

                                                                                              February 19

                                                                   in the garden of our local museum 

                                                                                                  Have a wonderful day. 
                                                                                                    Thank you for visit.


Friday, February 10, 2017

Tomoko's Diary.....February (1)

Hi, Friends!

                                                 On February third, the Ebisu festival was held at our local small shrine.
                                        This festival is to pray for happiness and business success and it is very popular 
                                                  at many shrines in Japan,particularly in the Kansai business district.  

                                              Bamboo is strong and supple, so it’s represented as a symbol of prosperity. 


                                                              This familiar young Miko stands on a stage, 
                                                    handing out lucky bamboo branch to all the visitors, one by one.


                             For many years, my mother-in-law 97 used to walk 10 minutes to the shrine for this festival 
                                with her close neighbors. Now she prefers staying at our home rather than going.
                            Even though we are not a particularly religious family, my husband and I still go to this event 
                                                                    instead of her and we enjoy it.

     Such a lovely smile! I always like this Miko san.  



                                                           Five-minutes drive takes me to this museum. 
                                                     The Ume trees in the garden have just started flowering.
                                Every spring, the museum has a free entry,which reminds me that spring has arrived. 
                                The many locals enjoy the free entry this time of the year,seeing ume flowers. But sadly, the weather 
                                 was fairy cold and windy on the day, February seventh.There were only a few visitors.

                         The museum holds many exhibitions including its seasonal garden and it also hosts music concerts.

                                                                           2016 in the garden

                                                           You will enjoy the  flowers in full bloom next time! 

                                                                                        Have a wonderful February

Thank you for visit.