The Land

About 70% of the land area consists of mountains.

Shirakagawa mountains 2_01

Mount Fuji (3776 meters) is Japan’s highest and best known volcano. You have  to consider youself lucky to get a clear view. We just got  a view.

 

 FULL-SIZE PICTURES: Click on images below          Use ——> /<—— to  navigate           SLIDESHOW: Click 'Start' on full-size picture

→ The caracter 田 (ta) means ‘rice paddy field’. It is also a common family name.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

The cherry blossom is Japan’s unofficial national flower and symbol. Plum blossoms are the next in line. We came too late and missed them both.

The red pine and  the Japanese maple are widely cultivated in Japan and are a regular feature in the classic Japanese gardens.

‘Niwaki’  is the art of pruning, training and shaping the trees for a dramatic look. This  is one of the primary skills required of the Japanese garden professional.  In fact, many Japanese homeowners equate the term “gardener” with “tree pruner.”

Japan is home for over 600 species of bamboos, the fastest growing grasses  in the world ( growing up to 60 cm per day). The shoots  of bamboo are edible. Bamboo is used in construction (flooring, gates, gutters), for furniture,  basketry,  archery bows, musical instruments ….and chopsticks.

FULL-SIZE PICTURES: Click on images below        Use ——> /<—— to navigate         SLIDESHOW: Click ‘Start’ on full-size picture