Exploring cherry blossom spots by Tozai subway line

I enjoyed very much the cherry blossom this year. The subway one-day pass was quite handy, all the place I visited are accessible. And the subway was not busy at all, I got a seat every ride.

Daigoji temple
All the weeping cherry trees are in full bloom and have beautiful shapes. Slender branches were waving gracefully in the wind, lightly feeling the ground. Amazing view everywhere!

Keage Incline
There was a huge crowd, Somei-yoshino cherry trees that were 70% in bloom lined both sides of the track forming an arch providing a spectacular view from the distance. I amused myself by taking pictures of visitors taking pictures in Kimono.

Okazaki Canal
Walked along the canal to the Okazaki area, I enjoyed following the cruises. Since most of the cherry trees here are still in buds, and the weather is quite cold and windy, I didn’t want to be one of the passengers. Still, I was fancying while taking pictures of them, how was the view in their eyes.

Yamashina Canal
The cherry blossom and rape flower made a magnificent view, it gave a magical reflection over the water surface. A yacht passed by fleetly and rolling wave followed.

Bishamon-do Temple
They were only a few local visitors. Normally, more crowds clustered in autumn due to its fame of maple. The 150 years old weeping cherry tree was very eyecatching. And the famous husumae (paintings on sliding screens) paint in perspective was quite interesting.

I’m expecting a different view next year. Probably Yoshino mountain in Nara, I’ve heard it filled with 30,000 cherry trees. That’s unimaginable!

Animal Shaped Omikuji

Pleple draw omikuji when they visit a shrine or temple in order to read their fortune. A long time ago, omikuji were used to read the intentions of the gods. The omikuji includes a phrase expressing your general fortune such as excellent, good, reasonable, fair or evil fortune, as well as advice on individual topics such as the overall state of your fortune, your health, things you are searching for and people you are waiting for. Normally omikuji is a folded-up paper. Have you ever seen an omikuji which has a cute animal shaped container? Here a special list for you!

Sugawarain Tenmangu Shrine: Cow shaped omikuji
Santuario Goou: Boar shaped omikuji
Kamigamo-jinja: Three legs crow shaped omikuji
Higashi-Tenno Okazaki-Jinja Shrine: Rabbit shaped omikuji
Rokkaku-do: Pigeon shaped omikuji
Kenninji Temple Tacchu Ryosokuin: Tiger shaped omikuji
Hirano Shrine: Squirrel shaped omikuji

You may wonder, why those design? Well, there are many cases. In Japan, many shrines were built in honor of remarkable politicians. Some animals were depicted as a lifesaver and protector of the politician in legend. So as the cow and the boar. The Okazaki-Jinja shrine precinct was used to be the rabbit’s haunt. Now the rabbit is considered the sacred messenger from the deity. There are many pigeons in Rokaku-do, so they became a symbol of the temple. The tiger is considered the enshrined god’s ride, it is also said the god appeared in the year of the tiger.

You see, not just your general fortune, many stories are contained as well. Make sure you get one of those mysterious omikuji when you visit Kyoto!