Sunday, May 8, 2022

Celebrating the Green(ery) During Golden Week in Japan

 -- Susan, every other Sunday

Last week, Japan observed its annual "Golden Week"  - a series of national holidays that fall between April 29 and May 5, during which most people either travel home to visit relatives or head off for vacation elsewhere in Japan.

Golden Week's almost-consecutive holidays (which to date have not been made "moveable feasts"  to ensure long weekends) are Shōwa Day (April 29 - to honor the Showa Emperor, who reigned from 1926-1989), Constitution Memorial Day (May 3 - in honor of the Japanese constitution, which was enacted on that day in 1947), Greenery Day (May 4 - a day to celebrate and commune with nature) and Children's Day (May 5 - formerly "Boys' Day" - on which we show respect for our children's personalities and celebrate their health and joy).

This year, April 29 fell on Friday, and May 3-5 on the following Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, meaning the "Golden Week" was actually a Golden 3-day weekend, followed by a work day (Monday), three consecutive holidays (Tues-Thurs) and another work day (Friday) before the weekend.

I stayed in Tokyo for Golden Week Part I, but spent Golden Week Part II in Kyoto, visiting some "old favorites" and some new-to-me sites (of which there are many, even after more than a dozen visits to the ancient capital).

Greenery Day is a particular favorite of mine, so I thought I'd share a few pictures celebrating the "green" I saw in Kyoto during Golden Week:

New green maple leaves in Kyoto's Gion district
(a historical ward where Kyoto's geisha - known as geiko - live and work)

Maruyama Koen - a famed Kyoto park associated with traditional poetry

More fresh green leaves

The trail to the summit of Nishinoyama, a mountain near Fushimi Inari Shrine

The view from Nishinoyama, looking toward downtown Kyoto

More new leaves at Fushimi Inari Shrine

Shrine guardian, Fushimi Inari

One of the lovely lakes at the gardens of Heian-jingu (Shrine), in Kyoto

More green beauty - and blooming irises - at Heian Shrine

Celebrating green cake and iced yuzu tea beside the lake at Heian Jingu

Stepping stones through the pond at Heian Jingu.

Today is also Mothers' Day in the United States (and in Japan), so in addition to celebrating the green, I'd like to wish a happy and peaceful day to everyone who is a mother, has (or had) a mother, knows a mother, has acted like a mother, or has any connection to a mother that they'd like to celebrate today. 

1 comment:

  1. From my perspective, Susan, you are to Japan what Boswell was to Johnson! Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there.