Sunday, March 05, 2006

How Saturday panned out...

The plan was to have a kind of driving day. Leave home, drive to a shrine for another plum blossom festival, then drive onto a limestone cave and plateau area for night burning and finally drive home. Quite a big day planned. Here is how it all worked out. All in all, a fantastic day and the weather was wonderful!
Hofu has a wonderful shrine worth visiting at any time of the year. At this time of year however, it is plum blossom time. I have a plum blossom festival in my own town that is great (see following post) but I thought I would check out another location whilst on my drive. It was well worth the effort. So stunning. At Hofu, there were many weeping trees. I think I like weeping trees most whether they be plum or cherry. So pretty!
Six years ago I came to Yamaguchi and visited Akiyoshi cave. I love caves and I had been meaning to come back for quite a while. I was not disappointed by my memory. The Akiyoshi cave is said to be the largest lime stone cave in Asia. I don't doubt for a second that it is, as it is huge. I began walking through the cave all on my own - that was a little erie!
There are informative signs throughout the cave letting us know the sometimes ingenious names of the formations. Some of them really did make sense.
Above the cave, there is a limestone plateau. Once a year they burn the undergrowth to encourage new shoots. The actual burning off takes place over about a month. In the photo above, can you see one hillside that is untouched whilst all around the hills have been burnt? Queue... Night burning!
The final hill side was set ablaze after dark and the kanji for fire was also set alight on an adjacent hillside. Really spectacular! You should have seen the tripods and cameras lined up all over the place. It was of course a great 'shutter chance'.
And of course, ending the night with some hanabi - fireworks.


Speaka said...

Thats quite the that part of the festival?

Turning Japanese said...

Yeah. I went to three different festivals yesterday. Two flower festivals and the night burning festival. It is heading to spring and then summer when there literally are festivals every single weekend!

Anonymous said...

What a day - how far away from home are the caves? Again great photos. M XXX