In case you’ve lost track, the weekend has an impressive lineup of events including:
- The first of three live music Saturday beergardens tomorrow evening at the Sakazuki Art Museum in Ichinokura
- A “machikon” beergarden atop a two-storey public parking lot in Tajimi to view the fireworks there on Sunday
- A similar konkatsu (mixer) type affair at Secret Time Cafe on Saturday, where if you bring a date, there’ll be a special chance to enjoy Toki’s fireworks festival (not sure if it’s in their parking lot, but that would definitely be a nice spot); by reservation only. They’re still looking for takers last I heard
- Something called Kokeizan Dining on Sunday, which sounds like a beergarden from one of Tajimi’s most scenic spots (advance purchase tickets required)
- Neu Cafe, while itself closed after lunch Sunday, will be offering outside the shop draft beer, Okinawan food, curry, tandoori chicken sandwiches and more in the buildup to the fireworks
- And of course Toki’s (Saturday) and Tajimi’s (Sunday) fireworks festivals with stalls set up all along the river (and Chuo Dori in Toki; Nagase Dori in Tajimi) all afternoon and evening; Tajimi’s festival is part of its Gozasse Natsu Matsuri
These are just goings on I happen to be aware of. I’m sure there are plenty of others as well.
I went to Kokeizan during the cold and cloudy spell briefly last week, hoping I might get one or two sakura shots along with Eihoji temple. The temple grounds themselves are known more for fall viewing than spring. Above, one of the other buildings that share the grounds. You can see the back of this one close-up from the train when you ride the Chuo Line.
The grounds are lovingly manicured, as always.
The few cherry blossoms actually there are mostly along the banks of the Toki River, and at the top of the hill behind the monastery and Tajimi Kita High School. I didn’t have time to see those this time.
Had to struggle for the shot above. Below, The pond was a deep green, with carp following one another in and out of view.
This was the first time I entered Kokeizan from the northern entrance off route 381 near Akariya cafe. I’d always gone via the monastery or the road that comes out up the hill and around the bend past Jazz Inn Papa’z/s.
The narrow waterfall ceaselessly runs down the cliff beyond the arched, semi-covered bridge.
An artist makes a drawing of the famous temple and bridge across the pond.
One more local ginkgo tree for you to check out today. And what blog about Tajimi would be complete without a visit to Kokeizan? Here you can see the yellow tree highlighted behind the silhouette of the famous bridge on the Eihoji temple grounds.
By the time I went this week, most of the leaves had already fallen, so good photos were harder to come by. Arriving in the morning gives you a better chance of scenic shots; The Zen temple and garden lie in a small valley and the sun goes behind the hills fairly early in the afternoon. Here you can see the waterfall area on the left.
In the process of writing about ginkgos like the one in November 15th’s entry, I learned that they’re some of the oldest tree species around, with little change from the days of the dinosaurs, so they’re a window on history in more ways than one.
Eihoji’s ginkgo has been around since 1332, predating Eisenji’s fuller blossomer by about three centuries. It was partially damaged in the fire of 2003 (and other fires), but in true survivor spirit, it’s still standing tall by the new central hall still being rebuilt.