Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hanami in Kamakura







I went to Hanami, cherry-blossoms viewing in Japanese, in Kamakura last weekend. The weather was nice and cherry blossoms were in full bloom.
Kamakura is 57km(36mil) southwest of Tokyo and the first Shogunate site. The first Shogun, generalissimo, opened his government in Kamakura in 1192 while Emperor was still in Kyoto.
We had 2 tops but the absolute power was possessed by the Shogun.


 
Dankazura, one-step higher street

 
 
In Kamakura, we must visit Hachimangu Shrine, which was the Shogun's family shrine. There was one-step higher street called `Dankazura' on the way to the shrine. Long time ago, this area was swamp and the first Shogun, Yoritomo Minamoto, made this street for his pregnant wife in prayer for her easy delivery.






Along this street, cherry blossoms are planted. People enjoy walking and viewing at the same time.
It was my dream to walk this cherry blossoms tunnel. I usually travel outside of Tokyo with my tourists or although I visit here, I don't have time to walk with them. So this year, finally my dream came true!!



the other end of the street and Torii, shrine gate



sugar-coated strawberry



old ginkgo trees and main edifice of shrine



This part is one of the highlights of this shine. You see two old ginkgo trees on the left side. It was originally one ginkgo tree. You see the picture below.



1000 year-old ginkgo tree
 
 
 
This old ginkgo tree was toppled down on Mar. 10, 2010 due to heavy rain and wind. It was a shocking news at that time because we love that tree very much. When the tree was replanted, 1000 people assembled here to pray for its rebirth with Shinto priests.
 
 
 



Thanks to their prayer, the trees have green again! The photo was taken on May 2010. I was very happy and excited to see them.
Exactly a year later, we had earthquakes. What a coincidence! Like this ginkgo tree, after receiving lots of prayers, I hope Japan will be reborn too!



peonies and cherry blossoms




There is a peony garden we have to pay for. Peonies are also at full bloom. It was worth paying.






cherry-blossoms' reflection in the pond

 

my little sister and me



We enjoyed Hanami and delicious lunch after this. While cherry blossom are blooming, I'll wander about.



the best photo of the day, I believe