Warmth of Crimson in Silvery WorldSprinkling of Winter Cherry Blossoms at Kongorin-ji Temple18 January 2013 - Sightseeing/Events
As snow whirled in various regions of Shiga Prefecture amid the severe cold weather on January 18, snow-covered pale pink blossoms of winter cherry trees could be seen here and there in the precincts of Kongorin-ji Temple, Aisho-cho Matsuo-ji, Shiga Prefecture, which is one of the three major temples on the eastern shore of Lake Biwa. The blossoms delighted the eyes of visitors for "Hatsu-Kannon," the first Kannon memorial service of the year.
Persistent snow during the day whitened the temple precincts all over, and pale pink petals and buds on the branch tips of winter cherry trees in front of the main hall, which is a National Treasure, wore white snow caps. Seven monks read the "Dai-hannyakyo," or Great Wisdom Sutra, in turn, and among the many worshippers who had gathered from both Shiga and other prefectures for Hatsu-Kannon, some could be seen gazing raptly at the rare red-and-white contrast or enthusiastically taking photos.
A man visiting from Ichinomiya City, Aichi Prefecture, said, "I was amazed with the pairing of cherry blossoms and snow. I feel the warmth shades of pink on white."
Blossoms on the winter cherry trees will gradually increase and they can be enjoyed until early April.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)