JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Most viewed - Tsutsujigaoka Park つつじが岡公園
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Tatebayashi Station on the Tobu Isesaki Line (connects to Hanzomon subway line in Tokyo), east side. Takes almost 90 min. from central Tokyo by regular train. Costs only about 1100 yen.186 views
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Love red and white flowers at Tsutsujigaoka Park, Tatebayashi, Gunma.139 views
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Koinobori and azaleas in Tatebayashi, Gunma.129 views
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Manhole with tanuki design in Tatebayashi, Gunma.127 views
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I was going to overdose on azalea. Had never seen so much azalea in my life. Tsutsujigaoka Park, Tatebayashi, Gunma.126 views
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Tanuki in Tatebayashi, Gunma.123 views
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Tsutsujigaoka Park, Tatebayashi123 views
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A few azalea bushes had passed their peak.121 views
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Tanuki and azalea, a good match? I prefer women and flowers. Tsutsujigaoka118 views
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View from Fureai Bridge in Tatebayashi.115 views
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Tanuki raccoon dog in front of Tatebayashi Station, east side.89 views
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Map of Tsutsujigaoka, a National Scenic Site. It's a low, flat hill full of azalea bushes. There is a maze of foot paths going through the azalea. 名勝87 views
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Even the edges are incredibly colorful. This edge had group photo stands.87 views
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Sights in Jonuma area, dominated by Lake Jonuma.86 views
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Flower fountain in front of Tatebayashi Station.85 views
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Tanuki raccoon dog in front of Tatebayashi Station, east side.84 views
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Tanuki raccoon dogs in front of Tatebayashi Station.84 views
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Mind-blowing just to see so many azalea along the edges. But much, much more was waiting on this hill.84 views
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Along Tsuruudagawa River were koinobori carp streamers flanked by cherry trees and azaleas.83 views
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Obiki ferry dock is on the left above the bridge on this map.81 views
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Tanuki sighting near Lake Jonuma81 views
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Tsutsujigaoka Park is a 15-20-min. walk from Tatebayashi Station.80 views
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Wisteria80 views
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The length of most of the koinobori is shorter than usual. Unlike the giant ones at Kannamachi also in Gunma.80 views
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Tsutsujigaoka Park is a lakeside park featuring this low hill almost 200 meters long and 80 meters wide.80 views
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About Bunbuku Chagma folktale, explaining why all the tanuki in Tatebayashi. Click here for the story.79 views
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Tourist information office in front of Tatebayashi Station.79 views
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City mascot "Pon-chan" goods sold at tourist information office in front of Tatebayashi Station. "Pon" refers to the character's pot belly.79 views
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Lake Jonuma79 views
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Azaleas continue to lead the way to the park.79 views
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Flower fountain in front of Tatebayashi Station.78 views
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Street corner with another tanuki. These tanuki are made in Shigaraki, Shiga Prefecture.78 views
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In April and May, thousands of flying carp streamers grace the Tsuruudogawa River connected to Lake Jonuma.78 views
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Rest house on Tsutsujigaoka.78 views
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Now this is an entrance to Tsutsuji-en, a long, slim azalea garden. I walked through this on the way back.78 views
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It's a pleasant walk with azalea decorating the sidewalk.77 views
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The koinobori are strung from late March to mid-May. Especially spectacular when the cherries are in bloom during late March to mid-April.77 views
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Way to Obiki ferry boat77 views
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Boat ride was pleasant enough.77 views
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Approaching Tsutsujigaoka Park77 views
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Shopping street for tourists next to Tsutsujigaoka.77 views
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My friend in Tatebayashi tells me, "The legend of the azalea park is that the lord of Tatebayashi, Sakakibara Yasumasa, had a mistress named Otsuji.77 viewsThe wife was jealous of her and gave her such a hard time that Otsuji threw herself into Lake Jonuma and died. Since her name sounded like tsutsuji, the lord planted the garden to console her soul."
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Tatebayashi Station platform77 views
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"Pon-chan" goods sold at tourist information office in front of Tatebayashi Station.76 views
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I visited Tatabayashi again in early May 2014 to see the azaleas at Tsutsujigaoka Park. 76 views
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There were these flower racks too.76 views
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View from Fureai Bridge. These carp were once registered in the Guiness Book of World Records as having the most koinobori (over 6,000).76 views
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Obiki ferry takes only several minutes to reach Tsutsujigaoka Park. Fare was cheap, includes admission to the park. It's also possible to walk to the park.76 views
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Koinobori at a lakeside house.76 views
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Relaxing ride, only me and a mother and child.76 views
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The occasional white azalea give your eyes a break from all the bright colors.76 views
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Entrance to Tatebayashi City Hall is also decorated with azaleas.75 views
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Tourist information office75 views
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Poplar tree and azalea75 views
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Boat dock for Tsutsujigaoka Park. Other boats offered cruises.74 views
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The hill also has a few azalea tunnels.74 views
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Edge of Tsutsuji-en Garden.74 views
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