For the first time in a while, picking this month’s photo was a challenge. It’s really due to the fact that we spent most of this month back in the US for a family wedding and a visit with our relatives. We only returned in the past few days and jet lag – as well as the climbing heat and humidity – has kept us from doing much exploring this final week of May.
But way back in the first few days of the month, we did squeeze in a trip to Sasebo in Nagasaki Prefecture. Normally our trips up there last only a day but this time we decided to spend the night and do some sightseeing in the area the following day. In the evening, we headed to nearby Saga Prefecture to visit the Mifuneyama Garden.
Our goal was to see the field of azaleas that bloom beneath the stony outcrops of the mountain garden’s main peak. Sadly, we missed the main blooming season by about a week. Saga Prefecture’s tourism office had given me the peak blooming time of mid-April and I had wanted to come earlier, but there is only so much traveling one can squeeze in some days!
Even though the dying azaleas were a slight disappointment, we also wanted to stay and see the garden’s seasonal light-up event. From dusk until close to 10pm at night, the garden illuminated the azalea field, as well as the blooming wisteria trellises. On the garden’s waterways, they floated luminaries which looked awesome against the dark mountain backdrop. And with the softer light and blue silhouette of the mountains, even the past-peak azaleas looked pretty impressive. But I loved how the floating lanterns below reflected off of the pond. On the left side of the picture, see if you can make out the illuminated wisteria trellis.