The sun setting over the Sea of Japan, as seen from Tsubakiyama, Aomori.
A kame no ki (turtle tree) flowering in early May.
I remember crepuscular rays — light and dark bands radiating from the sun — as a common feature of sunsets in my childhood. Here, they can be seen very frequently, at any time of day.
This photo was taken in Tono, in mid-afternoon.
At a famous senbei (cracker/cookie) shop in Esashi, crackers are made by hand — one at a time. You need a reservation a week in advance to buy the popular varieties from this shop.
A poet grinds ink in preparation for writing his verse at Gokusui no En.
Last weekend, we attended Gokusui no En at Motsuji, a temple in Hiraizumi. Gokusui no En is a festival reenacting a popular entertainment among nobles during the Heian Period. To begin the event, a Buddhist priest places a theme on a small raft that then floats down a stream, followed by cups of sake.
Each member of a group of poets seated along the stream composes a short poem about the prescribed theme.
We've read that the poets who fail to complete their verses before the sake cup reaches them must drink, but it seemed like all of them ended up drinking sake at some point.
Hachimantai is a mountain and national park that straddles the border between Iwate and Akita. It's also the scene of the "Aspite Line", a very scenic drive that crosses the mountain near its summit. Even in May, there was plenty of snow near the top.
On the Iwate side, there are alleged to be some spectacular views. All we saw was fog, though.
And here's the view when we finally got our oscillation overthruster working.
(Photos by Robert Davis. Hi, Dad!)
This carved figure of the God of the Sea is perched in the rafters of a small pavilion over a picnic table at the Goishi Coast. I'm not sure I could eat my lunch with him lookin' at me.
I found this tiny little spider hiding in a downspout at Chusonji
Buddhist temples are usually guarded by lions. This one, at the bottom of the hill, guards the main gate to Fukusenji.
This one ¡½ a female, I think ¡½ stands guard near the top of the hill, outside the main temple hall.