Sunday, June 10, 2007


Yesterday I rode my bike up to Omura City because I'd heard that the irises "ayame" (アヤメ)were blooming. At the base of the castle in Omura Park are thousands of irises - probably hundreds of varieties. I left Isahaya in the mid afternoon and got to the park just as the light lost its glare...everything was more golden...the perfect moment for viewing the flowers. While I was there I saw a couple in traditional dress (kimono, etc) having their pictures done in the garden. There were also many people out on blankets enjoying picnics around the park, reminding me of summer barbeques we have back home (menus vary slightly, though). Of course there were the usual festival food booths - yakisoba, yakiniku (バラ蓋が大好きです、よ!), fried corn, frozen pineapple, ice cream (including green tea flavor), beer/sake, fried squid (ika), mochi. Sometimes with these guys you can get an extra serving if you beat them in a game of janken (their version of RockPaperScissors). I'm just going to give a friendly suggestion to steer clear of yakiniku guys who wear a ridiculous amount of costume jewelry - especially if they say your nihongo wa jouzu desu, and all you've said is "konnichiwa". (At least I'm bigger than they are -)

Anyway - I love how the Japanese celebrate such natural events - I've been to hanami (cherry blossom parties), ume (plum) blossom viewings, azalea matsuri, and just last night I joined (or they joined me) my neighbors in visiting with the fireflies "hotaru" (ホタル) in the "mountains" behind my house. I feel like I fell in to "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and there were little sparks of magic all around...

1 comment:

Gina said...

Just to connect the dots... The iris is the state flower for Tennessee--and my all-time favorite.

So, the images of your trip made my day--a little internet visual hug, no??

Oh, and we have these funky fireflies--we call them, "lightning bugs" here--that blink in unison. It is the strangest thing evah if you really stop to think about it. Of course, I grew up with them and didn't know that it was unusual until I lived places where they blink at different times.

Oh, oh, and oh! We have a whole massive celebration here called The Dogwood Arts Festival. It is a 17-day party celebrating their gorgeous pink and white blossoms (and the rest of the spring prettiness). So, perhaps we aren't as far apart as the geography would suggest.

Love ya!
Gina ;~}