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Old New Year's decorations to be burned
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Burning old New Year's decorations, Hokoku Jinja, Nagahama, Shiga Pref.
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Red and white plum blossoms
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White plum blossoms, the most common variety, and with the sweetest aroma.
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Red weeping plum blossoms
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Closeup of white plum blossom
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Closeup of red plum blossom
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Weeping plum blossoms at the top of the plum tree "waterfall."
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A "waterfall" of weeping plum blossoms (Shidare ume no taki) しだれ梅の滝
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Yoshino Baigo plum trees
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Closeup of "sakura-bai." Very beautiful. 桜梅
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10:20 am: The Emperor and Empress appear right on time on his birthday. As soon as they appeared, people waved paper flags and cheered "banzai!" Also see the video at YouTube.It was an amazing spectacle. I always saw it on TV, but this was the first time I saw it in person. I wish I went when Emperor Hirohito was still living.

From left to right is Princess Nori, the Crown Prince, the Emperor, the Empress, and Prince and Princess Akishino. Crown Princess Masako did not appear due to illness.

I also once used this shot for the cover photo on my home page.
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White and red plum blossoms and the torii gate at Kameido Tenjn Shrine.
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Mt. Ibuki and Mishima Pond, Maibara, Shiga Pref.
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Giving New Year's prayers at Taga Taisha shrine.
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Snowscape, Lake Yogo
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Lake Yogo in winter
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Ducks on ice
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Snowed-over park
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Lake Yogo in winter
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Clearing snow at Lake Yogo
 
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