明月院のアジサイ (Hydrangeas at Meigetsu-in Temple, Kamakura)

Spring Japan is most famous for its cherry blossoms, but there are also several places where Hydrangeas are the feature. This is Meigetsu-in temple in Kita-Kamakura, founded in 1160.

This is the main entrance:

Meigetsu-in 01

This is a Japanese fruit called a biwa (a type of loquat, I think):

Meigetsu-in 02

The hydrandreas are mainly blue but there are other colours as well:

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The Inner Temple is only open twice a year, this being one of them, but I didn’t queue up for it:

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But it’s still nice to wander around all the other temple buildings:

Meigetsu-in 09

Meigetsu-in 08

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Dressing up for the occasion:

Meigetsu-in 10

And then it’s time for tea:

Meigetsu-in 12

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Takayama Autumn Festival (秋の高山祭)6

One of the highlights of the festival is the street parade that takes place during the day.

Smaller floats are pulled through the streets and up to the temple:

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Takayama 31-Parade2

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They are accompanied by a variety of different traditional musicians and musical instruments:

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The parade features participants of all ages – from about 80:

Takayama 31-Parade9

To about 8:

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And all ages in between:

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Sometimes you need a quick break:

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And of course it all ends with the Dragon Dance:

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