Once again Simon visited Takahatafudo temple in Hino. Despite being out a long way from downtown Tokyo (though conveniently in our city) it is a famous temple were there is a procession every year and the top sumo players visit. The occasion to visit was the magnificent Ajisei (Hydrangeas) covering the hillside behind the temple.


A spectacularly clear afternoon, after a very average and cloudy morning.

Azalas, Weddings and Noh

We found some fantastic places for viewing azaleas, the only problems was we visited them about a week too late!
We also went to Meji-jingu to see the festive activities, particularly the Noh performance which to our un-training eyes was a slow and labourious performance. We were greatly indebted to a visiting Assistant Professor (a chance meeting) who explained more of the Noh style and later sent us a copy of the play script.
A traditional wedding procession, often seen at the shrine.

Sakura Photos

Some of Simons favourite sakura photos:

Fuji and Sakura in bloom

Ome for ume again

Simon was very pleased that we arrived back from Okinawa just in time to catch the plum (ume) blossom at it's peak. Once again returning to the orchard spread arcoss the hillside near Ome city (west of Tokyo).

Back in Sept - Give me a home among the gum trees....

Ah, I miss the gum trees and the smells of reminds me of a song, are you already singing it? (if you not up on Australia folks songs and would like to join in the chorus see Song: Home Among the Gum Trees)
I hadn't been back to the farm in spring for 5 years so it was magnificent to see it in such a beautiful array of colours. Unfortunately what were bumper crops have frizzled with the lack of late rains leading to yet another "drought" year.

If you'd like to see more, I've compiled a thumbnail view of 40 photos although you'll need to be logged on to view them (see more Australia photos )


What should have been just a simple 1 hour train trip south, turned into a day of train connection mayhem. Still we had a nice time.

Steeped in history, Kamakura was a seat of power 8 centuries ago. Many of the shrines (19) and temples (65 of them) date from this time and in season, the Hydrangeas are beautiful.

Hino Hydrangeas

In our Hino city (suburb of greater Tokyo if you like) there is a big hydrangea park. We went to visit but we were a little early to see the full blooms. I never realized that there is so much variation in these flowers.

Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens

On the same day we visited Meiji-jingu we also visited this garden, to see if the irises weren't further advanced in their bloom. Indeed they were.

I thoroughly enjoyed these gardens as there were so many different bridges and hidden valleys to explore.

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