日本での一年間

April 20, 2011

Cherry Blossoms Part 3 – Half Bloom

In my previous post, I included some pictures of the cherry blossoms as they were just starting to bloom. Once again, the seven stages of cherry blossoms, according to Yahoo Japan,  are bud (tsubomi つぼみ), beginning to bloom (sakihajime 咲き始め), half bloomed (gobunsaki 5分咲き), 70 percent bloomed (nanabunsaki 7分咲き), full bloom (mankai 満開), beginning to fall (chirihajime 散り始め), and completely gone (hazakura 葉桜).

These pictures are of roughly half-bloomed cherry blossoms (sakura).

half bloomed. More like...some of them have bloomed and some are being stubborn.

Walking the pink(ish) path

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April 13, 2011

Ryuzugataki, a Japan Top 100 Waterfall

Japan likes to rank things, and then to brag about things ranked among the best. Japanese people flock to anywhere UNESCO has called a World Heritage Site, while most Americans I know don’t even know what a UNESCO World Heritage Site is. Ideally, things are in the top 3 or top 10, but for places like out here in the middle of nowhere, we’re willing to settle for the top 100. And my town brags about several places ranked in the top 100 in their category. I recently visited a top 100 waterfall.

I posted some pictures a few weeks ago about another waterfall, but that waterfall doesn’t make the top 100. The only accolade it has to brag about is being a Prefectural Site of Natural Beauty.  Ryuzugataki (竜頭が滝) is bigger and therefore more impressive. I guess that’s why it makes the top 100. There are 2 waterfalls there. The larger one is about 40 meters (141 ft) and the smaller is about 30 meters (98 ft). (They call them the male falls and the females falls, respectively.) We didn’t have time to visit both, so we just went to the bigger one.

I cant believe how small and insignificant it looks in the picture. Its actually 40 meters tall!

Hitting the water.

After looking at the waterfall from the front, we crossed these rocks so we could get a different view. My friend was wearing high heels! Not ideal footwear for hiking around waterfalls...

Looking at the waterfall from the side. You can also go sort of behind the waterfall to get an even more interesting view, but I didnt feel comfortable taking my camera with me.

Another view from the side.

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