Asakusa Toro Nagashi-2018

Asakusa Tori Nagasi_Collage

Images from the Asakusa Toro Nagashi-2018.August.11

A Toro Nagashi is a Japanese ceremony in which people float paper lanterns
down a river to commemorate the souls of the dead.

One Thousand Hopes

Crane Collage

Please burn us when dark evenings yawn.
and joyful days will surely dawn.

I recently finished folding one thousand origami cranes (known in Japan as Senbazuru) as a gift for a friend who is expecting her first child.  This was my first time completing such a project.  When I began the folding, my cranes looked a bit bedraggled, but after making 150 of them, I began to develop a technique.

There is a Japanese legend that says a wish will be granted to anyone who folds a thousand cranes.  It is common for people to present them as gifts to family and cherished friends.



:::heaven on earth:::


Yesterday, I visited Ashikaga Flower Park with my dear friend “M”, who is pictured here. Ashikaga is known for its grand wisteria gardens; believe me, they are indeed grand!  The park is open almost year-round and when wisteria is not in season, they showcase flowers such as clematis, roses, and tulips.
Ashikaga Flower Park






Strawberry Sake


Over the weekend, my husband and I infused sake with two pints of fresh strawberries. Two days ago, I did the first straining to remove the strawberries.  Today, the sake went through a second filtering to remove any bits of strawberries that remained after the initial straining.    We are going to pour our first glass tonight!

Do you want to try making this kind of infused sake at home?
Here is the recipe!
Recipe: Strawberry-infused sake

Shingen-Ko Matsuri 2016


Spectators and event staff wait for the samurai parade to start at the 2016 Shingen-Ko Festival (信玄公祭り)in Kofu, Japan.  Takeda Shingen was a powerful and influential Daimyo during the Sengoku Period, which lasted from 1470 to 1570, approximately. The Shin-Ko Matsuri is Japan’s largest samurai festival and parade.