月別アーカイブ: 5月 2012

#9 Nanao Mountain / 七尾山

The view of Masuda from Sumiyoshi Shrine on Nanao Mountain.

Today, I went to Nanao area.  Nanao area has many shrines and temples.  I learned that Masuda used to have a castle, but it was destroyed around 1600.   Caroline and I hiked up the mountain to the castle ruins, but only a few stones remain.  On our way down the mountain we stopped at Sumiyoshi Shrine to take pictures of the view.  Then we walked around the area and visited other temples and shops.  I think Nanao area is very traditional and charming.    -Ben-

Ben is looking out from Nanao Mountain.


destroyed  – (ここでは)廃城を云う

castle ruins – 城址

walked around the area  – 歩いて回った

charming  – 魅力


Ben and Caroline are talking about Nanao Mountain.



#8 Ikoji Temple / 医光寺

Ikoji Garden.

Today, I went to see the Sesshu gardens at Ikoji Temple. I learned a lot about Japanese gardens! Every part of the garden is carefully chosen and has a certain meaning. The chosen rocks and plants look very natural. There are also many symbols hidden in the garden. The island in the pond is a turtle, which is a traditional symbol for long life.  Some gardens are designed to be viewed from a certain point and are unbalanced.  Most gardens are designed for all seasons and can be viewed anytime of the year.    Today was a fun day. I learned a lot about Japanese gardens. Maybe someday I’ll make my own garden!

Caroline and Ben at Ikoji Temple.


Ben is looking at the garden at Ikoji Temple.

certain meaning  – 確かな理由(意味)
symbols hidden – 背後にある象徴的な(意味、理由)
traditional symbol – 伝統的象徴

designed  – 作られた(ここでは作庭となる)

unbalanced –  非対称の(西洋の幾何学的対象の庭と異なるので)


#7 Manpukuji Temple / 万福寺


The garden was designed by Sesshu.

Today, I went to Manpukuji Temple. The temple was built in 1374. It’s very old!  My favorite thing about the temple was the Sesshu Garden.  It’s a very relaxing place.  I learned that the garden represents elements of Buddhism and that rocks are important for zen gardens.   I also learned that Manpukuji had a battle between the Tokugawa Shogunate and Chosu, a clan from Hagi City.  The battle was one of the first toward the Meiji Restoration.  You can see the marks of the battles on the pillars in the main hall.  I learned a lot about Japanese history today at Manpukuji.   I’m looking forward to seeing more Sesshu gardens.


The altar of Manpukuji Temple.


relaxing –    くつろぎ、穏やか、
elements of Buddhism  –   仏教の要素
Tokugawa Shogunate  –  徳川幕府
Chosu –  長州
meiji restoration – 明治維新
pillars – 柱
looking forward to —–   / —-楽しみに


Ben is looking at the bullet hole in the pillar that was left from the battle between the Tokugawa Shogunate and Hagi Chosu.


Ben and Caroline at look at the altar of the main hall in Manpukuji Temple.


#6 Children’s Day / 子供の日


The carp flags flying at Manyo Park.

Today, I learned about Children’s Day. In Japan, each family has a carp flag for each child. When the wind blows the carp flags look as if they are swimming in the wind. There is a legend that when carp swim upstream, they become a dragon. On Children’s Day, families eat special foods, such as kashiwa-mochi and chimaki. Children’s Day is part of the Golden Week holidays. Many Japanese people people take a trip during that week.  I love how beautiful the flags look in the wind!


Ben and Caroline next to the carp flags in Manyo Park.



flag  – 幟(ここではin this sentence)、旗
wind blows – 風にたなびく
legend – 言い伝え、伝説
upstream – 上流、逆う流れ
dragon – 龍
during that week  – その週を通じて


The carp flags flying in the wind. 


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#5 Cherry Blossom Viewing / お花見

Caroline and Ben are preparing for a picnic under the Cherry Blossom trees.

Today, I had a hanami picnic with Caroline. It was a lot of fun! In Japan, friends sit together under the cherry trees while eating and drinking. They usually eat a bento lunch and drink sake. Sometimes it is during the day and other times it happens at night, paper lanterns are used for light. Cherry blossom season is around the end of March to the beginning of April, it usually lasts about a week. I’m glad I was able to do hanami this year. I hope I can do it again next year!

Caroline is giving Ben chopsticks to use for his lunch.


Ben and Caroline are looking at Cherry Blossoms.


picnic  –  行楽、遠足
during  —を通して
paper lanterns – 雪洞(ぼんぼり)