Heian Shrine in the Snow

Yesterday, Fumie and I went to an event at the Heian Shrine where they had live viola/guitar music while you could stroll around looking at their cherry blossoms, all lit up by hundreds of flood lights. I didn't have my camera with me, but most of the tens of thousands of others who were there did. It was very crowded, unfortunately, just this side of oppressively so. (At about $15 per person, it wouldn't surprise me if they grossed at least half a million dollars just this weekend alone.)

It was beautiful. I'd been inside the shrine's huge garden area (map) only two other times, both after relatively rare heavy snowfalls (both 2005, one in December and one in February). Those post-snowfall visits hadn't left me with the impression that there were many cherry trees, but wow, they were everywhere, in many different varieties, from pure white to the deepest blood pink. (The previous visits hadn't left me with the impression that so many people could fit, either; previously, we'd had the place essentially to ourselves.)

Not having had my camera yesterday, I offer a few pictures from the snowstorm last December, which was the most snow Kyoto had seen in the last 50 years:

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2006 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl

Although I didn't understand until last night, the bamboo lattice you see in the picture above, which is all over the place, is there to support the blossom-laden branches of a willowish kind of cherry tree called beni shidare zakura (“crimson willow cherry”). The structure in the background is a covered bridge.

Here are two other scenes....

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2006 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2006 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl

See the “Followups and Related Posts” box below for links to additional Heian-Shrine snow scenes...


One comment so far...

I went to that concert event in 2002, except that time it was a solo pianist on a little dock on the pond, and it started to rain halfway through. I took some pictures with my first generation digital camera (640 X 480 max resolution!). Here’s one.

— comment by nils on April 12th, 2006 at 2:20pm JST (11 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink
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