Thursday, August 30, 2012

What Is Singing the Song?


image from Wikipedia
During the daytime I hear cicadas droning on and severe lingering heat is forecast for the week ahead. However, I feel the sign of autumn among their voices. In the evening I hear higurashi (evening cicada, Tanna Japonensis) singing.

Actually they started to appear as early as from June but they can be heard most often when the temperature drops or when it becomes cloudy around this time of the year usually in the evening or early morning. Because of this, higurashi is a word associated with autumn in poetry.




Speaking of clear, beautiful voice, I remember when I heard the song with a beautiful resonant tone in the wooded hills in Tenkawa, Yoshino, where a clear stream ran nearby. I thought it was a birdsong. To my great surprise, a friend of mine said it was a frog! A frog?! What came to my mind was the memory of the croak in chorus from the rice paddy fields as a child. 
Anyway, why don't you listen to this first.



I was so ignorant but I knew this was a species of frog called 河鹿蛙 (kajika frog), endemic to Japan.
As you might think, contrary to its beautiful voice, the appearance is sober and rugged and develops protective coloration dapple. Its natural habitat is temperate forests and streams. The beautiful song is courtship display during April to July. However, their desperate courtship doesn't always pay off because of fewer population of female ones. It’s not an easy job to find mates for them as well.

みたらい渓谷(Mitarai gorge) in Tenkawa with several falls, huge oddly shaped rocks and crystalline water in the stream is my favorite destination. In autumn this area turns into a breathtaking tints. (autumn last year)




It was slightly raining and the raindrops made tiny splashes on the clear quiet water. It was really like water fairies were dancing merrily on the water.











This is a suspension bridge called 哀伝橋 ( sorrow passing bridge). This secluded mountain area in Yoshino was and is a religious homeplace for Shugendo practitioners but at the same time it was once a refuge for political losers who attempted a comeback but in vain. It has been steeped in a wealth of history and legends. 









Now it has become a popular place many hikers visit all through the year. At downstream basin, families or people on holidays were having fun in the river though it was a bit cooler to bathe.


40 comments:

  1. That's quite a lovely - and slightly scary - bridge!

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  2. みたらい渓谷、よく聞きますが行った事はありません。このブログを見て、行ってみたくなりました。吊り橋は長くておもしろそうですね。
    かじかの声、思い出しました。かえるの鳴き声とは、ほど遠いきれいな響きです。
    近所でもつくつくぼうしや、ひぐらしが啼き始めました。秋がきますね。

    ReplyDelete
  3. The frogs sound like exotic jungle birds! The gorge is spectacular. I could never walk across the bridge. I will admire it from afar.

    Your blog looks beautiful--I love the pictures along the side.

    Jen

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  4. This post is really really interesting!! I enjoyed it a lot!

    この記事、すごく楽しくて面白いです。カジカ蛙、美声なんですね。もう、びっくり。 このごろ、つくつくぼうしが鳴いておりまする、うちのあたりでは。吉野や天川には、南朝や後南朝の哀史が秘められていますね。最近、三種神器について少し読んだのですが、南朝は哀れですね。南朝の人たちが通り、見たであろう渓谷を取り上げていただいて嬉しいです。ああ、こんな山深いところでどんなふうに、誇りを維持したのだろう?って、思いました。水の写真がとてもきれいです。

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 相変わらずサファイアさんはよく本を読んでおられるのですね。みたらい(御手洗)と言う名前は、後醍醐天皇の息子護良親王が戦いの勝利を祈願して、手を清めたところから名づけられたそうです。
      三種神器?また後で調べます^^;コメントありがとうございました。

      Delete
  5. Wow. This is a great place. The view is amazing. I can't believe they have a hanging bridge. I want to experience crossing it. That would be fun.
    swimming pools Perth prices

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting. This bridge looks like a usual concrete one but when you walk on it, you feel it swaying. It's a part of scenery.

      Delete
  6. It is a very special song.. I can never hear it here. And this is a very beautiful place. I remember you have posted from this before. That long bridge and waterfall would I really like to see in real. I can understand why this is a favorite place:-)
    I like the colors of autum, but I am glad that we have some few weeks left of Summer here in South. In northern Norway, autumn is already coming.
    Great pictures!

    Hope you have a blessed time over there! Hugs from Tania

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  7. Higurashi have started singing in Tokyo, too, and just last night I heard my first cricket. I find it hard to believe that autumn is coming - this week has been particularly hot - but I guess the insects know better! ^^

    The kajika's song is beautiful, and I love (extremely very much) that photo of the raindrops splashing into the river!

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  8. These cicadas certainly are noisy,like lots of tiny tin bells! The Mitari gorge is amazing and your photos are beautiful,it's good to have these places to visit and enjoy nature. The crystal clear blue/green water reminds me of rivers in the Spanish
    Pyrenees.

    I like the new layout!
    Happy weekend Cosmos,
    Ruby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cicadas are surely "noisy" bur for me no summer without their vigorous singing. The change of colors makes me notice the season is changing, so does the change of singers.
      Thank you for mentioning my new template^-^*

      Delete
  9. Around this gorge is my husband's favourite place. I remembre the day of early autumn to visit there. Maybe it was too late for the singing of kazika frogs but I heard some clear songs by birds.
    Thank you for this inspiring and clean post.

    ReplyDelete
  10. 写真、文章、音・・・すべてが清涼感あふれるポストですね。ミンミン、カナカナ、ツクツクボウシと蝉の声も変わっていきます。水の色、雲の変化などにかすかな変化を感じながら秋を待つのが好きです。 河鹿の声、思い出しました。河鹿荘という名前の宿が全国にありますが、昔は川の流れは清らかで河鹿がたくさんいたんでしょうね。

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  11. ヒグラシの声を聞くのも涼しく感じて、ひと時、暑さを忘れます。 みたらい渓谷の滝が涼しそうで、とても素晴らしいです。 

    ReplyDelete
  12. こんにちわ、cosmosさん。

     とても清涼感のある渓谷ですね。
     ほんのひと時でも、マイナスイオンにあたって自分だけの世界に篭るのもいいかも知れません。
     ひとりきりだと、ちょっと寂しいでしょうか?

     水面の反射や、つり橋の味わい等がくっきりと撮られていて、とても雰囲気を感じることが出来ました。

     ありがとうございました。

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. コメントありがとうございます。この日は主人が大峯山(女人禁制の山)に登ると言うので、その間私はみたらい遊歩道の散策となったわけです。早朝で雨も降りだしていて、歩き始めたころは誰一人出会いませんでした。整備された自然道なので難しくはありません。妖精の滝?も存分に楽しむ事ができました。ただやはり女性なら誰かと一緒の方が心強いでしょうね。

      Delete
  13. That was a very interesting post, cosmos! Those frogs are blessed with such a beautiful voice! And that bridge does look like its suspended at quite a height. I would so love to stand on it and have that wonderful waterfall view from up there. I loved the idea of water fairies dancing, that was a spectacular capture and for an instant, I closed my eyes to make a wish. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. ♡✿彡╮
    Belas fotos!
    Bom fim de semana!
    Beijinhos.
    Brasil.
    •°♫¸.♪♫°

    ReplyDelete
  15. 彡♡` Olá, amiga!

    Lindo dia!
    Bom fim de semana!
    Beijinhos.
    Brasil ♡彡.
    ¸.•°`♥✿⊱╮

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hello, cosmos.

     Your heartwarming works fascinates my heart.

     Thank you for your kindness and support.
     And i pray for you and yours peace.

    Have a good week-end. ruma❃

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  17. Wow, those songs are amazing! I've never heard anything like it. The frog's song especially surprised me. I love frogs, but I didn't know some of them could sing like that. Thanks for sharing! ^.^

    ReplyDelete
  18. こんにちは。コスモスさん。
    夏が終わろうとする ヒグラシやカジカガエルの声が聞えてくるこの時季、日本人だけなのでしょうか? 何故かほんの少し寂しい気持ちになりますね。そんな彼らの声を聴かせて頂きありがとうございます。一生懸命に鳴いて可愛いですね。素晴らしい渓谷を訪れられたのですね。滝の水しぶき、川の流れを実に見事に、また雨をとても情緒的に写されていて感動しました。秋のお便りも楽しみにしています。(私のサイトでG+の影響か?アカウントに不具合が起きているようです。どうしようもないので、暫し状況を見ています。ご迷惑をおかけしていないといいのですが・・・。) 

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  19. Cosmo, your country is simply breathtaking. Everything looks so powerful at first yet fragile when you examine it more closely. I hope to be able to visit Japan one day.

    Young people now have such trouble with courtship. Maybe they could take a lesson from the frog and sing a beautiful song to each other. My husband used to write me love poetry. He claimed that he couldn't carry a tune and wouldn't dream of singing to me.

    When our kids were little, they would find empty cicada shells after the insects would molt and scare me and each other with them!

    ReplyDelete
  20. コスモスさん こんにちは。 今朝、魚くんが海外の蛸の研究チームに参加するというTVを暫し見ました。彼のように嬉しい感情を子供のように出せる人は見ていて楽しいですね。蛸に頬ずりしていましたよ。≧(´▽`)≦ 

    実は私のブログが現在もダッシュボードに新規投稿が紹介されないトラブルに巻き込まれています。今後お越しの際は、私のサイトでHomeをクリック頂ければ最新投稿を見る事はできると思います。このままトラブルが解決できなくても読者になって頂いているほんの少しの方にこの旨をお伝えしてマイペースで綴っていこうと考えています。どうぞ宜しくお願いします。

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 一旦不具合が起きるとほんとにイライラしますよね。でも不思議と勝手に元に戻っていたりするんですが。また気をつけてブログを覗かせていただきます。

      さかなクン、今年の初めに近くの住宅催し会場にゲストとして来られてたんですよ。たまたま散歩中に知ったのですが。イラストが得意なので、クイズ方式にホワイトボードに魚の絵を描いては、子供たちが競って名前を言い当てていました。テレビで見る通り、愛嬌があって子供たちに大人気でした。子供たちが魚の名前をよく知っていることに驚いていました。

      Delete
  21. こんばんわ、Cosmosさん。
    テレビでもよく見かける天川村。素晴らしいですね。滝がそんなにたくさんあるとは知りませんでした。夏は涼しそうで歩いたらさぞ気持ちが良いことと思います。ヒグラシの鳴き声も聞こえてきます。遅い訪問になってしまいました。マウスを画面いっぱいに勢いよく滑らせたら、ヘッダーが出て動きだしました。偶然なので。きちんと調べなければなりません。
    Tomoko

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tomokoさん、ほんとにどういう事なんでしょうね。私もパソコンの事はよくわかっていないので、何をどう調べればいいのかもわかりません。でもとにかく偶然であれ、色々試してたどり着いて下さってありがとう!

      Delete
  22. 偶然に開いたので、今日どのようにマウスを動かしたのか繰り返してやってみましたら、上のバーのおすすめサイトというところにタッチすると、ヘッダーが動くのだと発見しました。でもまったく論理的な発見ではないですね。

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh, wow! Mitarai gorge is spectacular, I can understand why this is your favorite place to visit, Keiko! And when autumn comes the colors are breathtaking indeed.
    The place has greatness and a beautiful tempestuousness perfect for harboring such a long history full of dramatic events and high figures. I enjoyed reading about them in your previous post.
    The bridge is impressive (and so are your photos), especially in a steep landscape like that. It reminded me of another bridge you showed us, the one that was really swinging when being crossed and still you had no problem about it!

    We don't have cicadas around here but we had a lot of grasshoppers this year. And up till yesterday they were still singing in the evening. The frog song is very soothing, I could listen it for hours. If it's any consolation I too thought it's a bird the first time I've heard it! :)

    I am sorry my visit is so belated and I'm sending my warmest wishes to you and Coo as well! Have good days ahead and take good care of yourself, Keiko!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Roxana, I’m so glad you came here. It’s still hot in daytime but I can feel brisk fall air in the morning and evening. I can see grasshoppers carrying their babies on the back busy nibbling flower leaves in my garden. We are entering the best season.

      How is Norocel doing? She must be growing and more adorable. Coo is not good at fawning on us at all but when it comes to meal time, he becomes totally different. He is on the fat side now
      I’m looking forward to seeing your post about Norocel updated!

      Best wishes to you Roxana.

      Delete
  24. なんと素晴らしいSunriseでしょう。地球上どこからでも見られる太陽ですが、ケニアから見る日の出は特別にどっしりとしていて、雄大です。私達人間を静かに見守ってくれているよう!コスモスさん素晴らしいヘッダーの写真有難う。
    Tomoko

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tomokoさん、何度もコメントありがとう!これは娘がケニアのサファリパークで宿泊し、撮ってきたものです。彼女も写真はまだ初心者ですが、ほとんど自然の環境にいる動物の群れや、力強い鮮烈な朝陽、夕陽をみて感動し、癒され、勇気をもらったそうです。彼女の心意気の一端が感じられるようで、祈りと応援を込めてヘッダーにしています。

      Delete
  25. .•°♫♪♪


    Bom fim de semana!
    Beijinhos.
    Brasil
    彡♪♫°¸.•♫°`

    ReplyDelete
  26. your picture really beautiful and im sure that it more amazing to see with own eyes. I will have my short holiday early next month and i wish to visit nara and wakayama since i skip this two place in my previous holiday.

    Im travel alone and will use public transportation so may i know is it possible to have a day visit and is it worth to visit both tenkawa and yoshino yama in early november if my main intention is to see the autumn foliage?

    and one more think, is the signboard and information for tourist there sufficient enough for the non japanese speaking tourist?it because im can only speak and understand little nihongo and this time i travel alone,so i have to take the language barrier as one of my biggest concern.

    thank you once again and have a great day

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    Replies
    1. Hello!
      Sorry for my late response. I am very glad you got interested in Yoshinoyama and Tenkawa.

      As for the autumn foliage and varied sight of natural beauty of gorge, Tenkawa is a popular place. However, it is located in a rather secluded area so takes time to go there; by express train and then by local bus. One day trip would be possible if you start early from Osaka (it is easier and faster to go there from Osaka than from Nara) but you have to check the time schedule of bus service. The hiking course including along the gorge extending about 4km takes about more than two hours (depending upon where you walk, though). There is an information center near the bus stop but I’m afraid there are no English speaking staffs, no maps written in English. If you are good enough to find your way, it’d be OK.

      It is an easier access to Yoshinoyama than to Tenkawa. From Osaka again, it takes 1 hour and 15 minutes by express train. From the Yoshino Station to the deepest part of the area, there is 500m difference through Shimosenbon, the lowest part of cherry trees area, Nakasenbon, Kamisenbou up to Okusenbon , the deepest part of them. There is a shuttle bus service available inside the area so you can choose how long you’d like to walk. If you are interested in Japanese history or culture or national treasure and above all walking around enjoying mountain scenery, it would be a good place to explore. You can get some English brochure and some English explanation written on the signboard .
      However, if you have never been to Nara before and you'd like to enjoy simply Japanese autumn foliage this time, I think more famous place for autumn leaves might be safer. Yoshinoyama would be best in April as a cherry blossom viewing place starting blooming from the lower part area expanding to the higher part.

      What do you think? I don’t know If I answered your question fully but if you’d like a further information about them, please let me know. I will check it.
      Hope you’ll have a nice holiday in Japan!

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    2. Hi,

      Thank you for your insight. yup, i will start from Osaka,and i'm an early riser,so travel in early morning would not be a problem for me.I already done some research on net, the information that i got is to go to Tenkawa,take bus No. 2 or 7 from Kintetsu Shimoichiguchi Station and get off at Tenkawa Kawai. Mitarai is about 40-minute walk from the bus stop.

      I found an English written blog (http://tenkawalife.blogspot.com/) of someone that working at council office on promoting Tenkawa. I already email him and hope that i will have sufficient information or else, like what you has suggested, I will go to Yoshinoyama instead since It more familiar to tourist and have more english information.

      But Tenkawa is still my first choice. Your pictures really catch my eyes,especially the pictures of the bridge across the mountain and the clear blue river. If arrive early, be able to hiking would be great. Yoshinoyama is actually my original plan,but while searching for its info, i stumble into seeing an autumn picture of Namego-tani and from there i get to know about Tenkawa.I really grateful to your blog for introducing such pretty place.

      Thanks and have a nice day ^^

      Delete
    3. mel-lynn
      It's so good you have found a spokesperson of Tenkawa! He is sure to be of a great help to give you a detailed information you need. So your destination is almost clinched? If you go to Tenkawa, Mitarai walk is a must.
      It varies from year to year when is the best time for autumn foliage or how beautiful they are, so you should ask him to keep you informed.
      I keep my fingers crossed you will have a wonderful time there.

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    4. Yes, I already decided on Tenkawa. That person already reply me and he provides all the necessarily info on the transportation and the surrounding areas. He also assure me that the information centre have the english brochure and map. He said that Tenkawa will have the autumn fair on 8th and 9th Nov. It sad i will miss it since I already back to my hometown during that date.

      Once again, thank you for your help and opinion. It helps a lot.

      Delete
    5. Oh, great, mel-lynna! I'm sorry I didn't know they had English brochures and maps. It's a great help, besides you can contact him in the case you are in trouble. When are you coming? I wish foliage, water, bridges will welcome the guest coming all the way from a foreign country!

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    6. No need to be sorry,you already help a lot.Its my own responsibility to search those info,after all i used to travel alone so i make sure to equip myself with all necessary info before start my journey. ^^ I'm from Malaysia. came from the tropical country that only got either rainy or hot season make me more appreciate the seasonal view such as the autumn foliage.

      Delete

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