Friday, May 4, 2012

Flat Stanley Visits Gardens on Greenery Day

Midori no hi (MEE-DOH-REE NO HEE), or Greenery Day, is dedicated to nature and the environment.  It is the third national holiday during Golden Week.  This was a good day for visiting parks and gardens.

There are many beautiful gardens in Tokyo.  We visited two of the oldest gardens.  They are feudal clan gardens.  Feudal clans ruled Japan hundreds of years ago.  They built these gardens before the United States of America became a nation!

This stone bridge is what I liked best at Korakuen garden. The name of this bridge is Engetsu-kyo because a full moon is formed by the bridge and its reflection on the water.

Can you see the shape of the full moon in this picture?

Kyu-Shiba-rikyu (Q-SHEE-BAH-REE-Q) is the name of the other feudal clan garden we visited. There is an island in the middle of a big pond at this garden. I had fun walking across all the bridges.

We saw lots of flowers blooming at Kyu-Shiba-rikyu.

The wisteria is just beginning to bloom
Irises usually don't bloom until June or July

What kind of flowers are these?
We saw lots of turtles sunning themselves on rocks in the pond. Big carp fish, called koi (KOH-EE), swam to the edge of the pond to tell me hello. I said "Ohayo gozaimasu" (O-HI-O GO-ZAH-EE-MAS) to the turtles and fish. That is how you say "Good morning!" in Japanese.

These people are drawing pictures of the peonies on the hill. We saw other people drawing pictures of trees and turtles.

Of all the things I saw at Kyu-Shiba-rikyu gardens, my favorite was a bride and groom posing for wedding pictures.

The bride is wearing a traditional Shinto wedding kimono in the first few pictures.

Shintoism is one of the two main religions in Japan.  Four out of every five Japanese people practice the Shinto religion.  Buddhism is the other main religion.  Three out of every four Japanese people are Buddhists.  Most Japanese people practice both of these religions.

The bride is wearing a white robe over her kimono in this picture.  This is how she will look during the wedding ceremony.

The bride and groom are holding traditional umbrellas in the next pictures.

These umbrellas are made by hand from many layers of paper and glue. They are strong enough to hold an inch or more of snow.

In Japan people don't just use umbrellas when it it raining. They use umbrellas to stay dry when it is snowing and to protect their skin on sunny days.

They even use umbrellas to protect flowers like peonies from snow and sun!

This was a fun holiday in Japan but I think tomorrow will be even more fun.  Tomorrow is Children's Day!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails