This blog is for family and friends, to share my feelings and photos with and for myself, to support my fading memory and improve my Japanese. I intend to do some writing in kanji, but am not getting very far without a Japanese computer. So for the moment I say "konnichi wa". Aisatsu dake - just saying hello.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Between the raindrops

we managed to get out there, feel the mountain breeze and inhale that pure air.
Thanks to our early start we caught the sunrise at its best!

While Jaap conquered 3 tops in one morning I hung around the lower fields to do my thing

Chestnut-eared Bunting, ホオアカ

Common Pheasant, キジ

Eurasian Jay, カケス

2 Willow Tits, コガラvery high up in the trees

Same bird from an earlier visit, when there was less green blocking my view.

I seem to get better in spotting moths. Now their names.... 

Below the crown of Mt Kuju: Miyama Kirishima, captured by Jaap

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Raizan and Iwarayama

Finally found this place, after hearing so much about it. Got there at the end of the afternoon. Light was not unfavorable, but I'd like to go back on a windless day. 

A huge moth was hanging in a tree like a christmas decoration

found the name! オオミズアオ, Actias aliena

Not many birds that day, just a Red-billed Leiothrix or Pekin Robin, ソウシチョウ

My first go at fireflies, ほたる. Difficult!

Barn Swallow, ツバメ

The yearly event at the ferry terminals. This year's photos were taken at the Nokonoshima side.
The birds really seem to seek people's company, nesting right at the entrance of the main buildings and of course on the boat itself.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Tagawa Jinkosai festival 田川神幸祭

The rainy season has started. The forest became dense with foliage. I hear many birds, but see nothing... Thus a different topic, the yearly festival in Tagawa.

This is the time of rice planting and there are many colorful festivals throughout the country meant to purify the fields and energize farmers for the hard work ahead. Many of these festivals involve carrying portable shrines around town to spread good luck. In Tagawa groups of men carry 11 huge, elaborately-decorated portable shrines from one side of town, starting at a big Shinto shrine, to the other side, a place where the gods can relax for one night. The journey involves wading waist-deep across the river that runs through town. This part of the trip prompts massive water fights, races, cheering showdowns and making a LOT of noise.




Besides this river-based spectacle there are various activities around town