Sunday, February 23, 2014

Amanohashidate Tour

by Keiko
My friend who lives near Amanohashidate in Japan has shared a link on a special tour there. How special is it? This rate is available only to those with passports issued by countries other than Japan!

Many of the Seattle Japanese garden tour guides are familiar with the term Amanohashidate because for many years, our suhama was mistakenly introduced as Amanohashidate. Ama means "heaven or sky"; no is "of"; and finally, hashidate is "a bridge to connect": Thus, The Bridge to Heaven. According to a local document published several hundreds years ago, Izanagi (伊射奈芸命), who created Japan, had built this bridge/ladder to commute to ten. However, while he is taking a nap, the ladder has fallen flat. That is how this beautiful landscape was created.

Amanohashidate by Sesshu

Below is a copy from on its significance as a tour spot.

Amanohashidate (天橋立) is a pine covered sandbar that spans the mouth of Miyazu Bay in the scenic, coastal region of northern Kyoto Prefecture. Viewed from the mountains at either end of the bay, the Amanohashidate Sandbar (which roughly translates to "bridge in heaven") looks like a pathway between heaven and earth. The scene has been admired for centuries and is ranked among Japan's three most scenic views.
Several other attractions can be explored on foot or by rental bicycle at either end of the sandbar. They include a couple of temples, a shrine, a small amusement park and observation decks from which to enjoy the view. Visitors can further take sightseeing cruises around the bay or enjoy the sand beaches along the sandbar.

Are you ready to take this trip? (Caution: Even though the cost for this trip is 500 yen which is about $5.00, this trip starts at Kyoto Station in Japan.) :)

Miyazu, Amanohashidate Accomodation Guide

Monday, February 10, 2014

Climate change haiku, crows, and the Garden opens Sat. March 1st

by aleks
The U86 Event Planning Group is putting final touches on the 2014 program which will be landing in your inboxes soon: cont. ed. lectures, field trips, Japanese films - those attractions are only open to SJG volunteers and their guests, so inquire within if interested in becoming a guest (the list of oferrings will be posted on Calendar page as well as on the front page, under GARDEN VOLUNTEERS, in the right side column)….

I'll be updating the blog calendar page for all 2014 events in the coming days, but here is Seattle Parks Department event calendar  for Japanese Garden, OPEN TO EVERYONE:

• Saturday, March 1st, 11am-3pm
First Viewing with Shinto blessing. Formal opening of Garden for the season; includes photo-reception of Spring 2013 photography.

• Monday, May 26, Noon-4pm
Children's Day.  Fun performances and activities for all ages!

• Sunday, July 6, Noon-4pm
Tanabata. Celebrate the Japanese star festival at the garden.

• Friday, July 25th, 5:30-8:30pm
5th Annual Garden Party. Enjoy sake and sushi while you support the Garden at this kimono-friendly fundraising event.

• Sunday, August 10,  2-5pm
Wandering & Wondering. Unexpected and enchanting performers take over the Garden [butoh dancing - the same group will also perform earlier, July 10,  Noon-3pm at Kubota gardens; the dance group is lead by one of our guides, Joan Laage]

• Saturday, August 23, 7-10pm
Moon viewing. Experience the Garden illuminated by hundreds of lanterns, under the full moon.

• Monday, September 15, 11am-3pm
Respect for Elders Day.  Seniors over 65 enjoy free admission today!

• Sunday, October 12, 11am-3pm
Maple Viewing. Experience the Garden ablaze with fall color.

• Sunday, November 30
Closing Day.  Final day the Garden is open for the 2014 season.

• • • • •

• Extra 1): poster Monzie's terrific find of 19 haiku verses and accompanying water colors  by Greg C. Johnson, a Northwest oceanographer at NOAA, where they interpret reports released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Below is one of his illustrated haiku, and the rest is at this link at Sustainable Northwest….

• • • • • 
• Extra 2.): A couple of weeks ago I caught Grand Illusion Cinema's screening of a delightful, meditative film-poem 'Tokyo Waka' - about the city of Tokyo, its people and its thousands of crows. Here is the trailer + link where you can order the documentary (it had a very limited screening) below the trailer:

Here is  link to StyloFilms, where you can order the documentary.

• • • • •
• Extra 3.) After 'Tokyo Waka' I got so seriously crow-fascinated, that I watched 1 hr PBS nature documentary (lots of it filmed in Seattle) titled 'A murder of crows' - the film credits UW research on crows to Pentagon, I wonder why. Anyway, welcome to our new overlords - and maybe it's for the better as the crows utilize TWO languages (one for public and one for private communication), recognize human faces,  form life long relationships,  raise their young in extended families + pass the wisdom they gain to the next generations, all of which seems way smarter than many humans walking about the planet.  Here is a trailer +  a link to the entire movie below the trailer:

You can see the entire film online at the PBS link here

In the meantime, don't be a badarse to crows: they'll remember your sorry face for over 2 years and there is a youtube clip showing crows solving 8-step puzzle,  so I think they'll find you all right if needed.

Edited on 2/13/14  - Lynnda found and put in comments the link to clip showing crows solving 8-step puzzle - apparently it went viral, and here is a link to a 3:20 clip on youtube: