11 July, 2007

Asagao-Ichi (Morning Glory Fair) / Iriya

The rainy season has not finished yet, but summer is coming soon.
When I was in the 1st grade of the elementary school, the homework for the summer vacation was the observation of Asagao (Morning glory:Ipomoea nil ). Whenever I saw Asagao, it reminds me the old scene of the summer day... yeah, I dried it out (LOL).

Asagao-Ichi (Morning glory fair), a symbolic festival for the opening of summer. Especially, Iriya Asagao-Ich, which is held in front of the Iriya Kishibojin temple in early July, is very famous for it's scale and history.
Last Saturday evening, three of us(my wife, daughter and me) and my wife's mother, who came from Osaka to spent this summer with us, went to there for buying Asagao. (please allow me to describe her as "Gramma" in this blog. OK, Gramma?)

The 6-lane road (Kototoi-street) was closed for a block (about 200 meter long) and there were filled with many Asagao stalls and many buyers.

I learned that there are many kinds of Asagao; Japanese Asagao, European Asagao, Ryukyu (Okinawan) Asagao etc... I should've studied that before shopping. It took so long time to make up our mind what kind of Asagao we should buy.

Gramma kindly bought us a big pot of "Crystal Blue", a kind of Ryukyu Asagao. The seller said "color of flower is so beautiful!".

Exactly!( photo (below) was taken in the next morning) It'll be fun to see it every morning.

Gramma bought a pot of Yuugao(Lagenaria siceraria var. hispida) along with the Asagao, too. Thank you, Gramma.
While Asagao blooms in the morning(Asa), this plant blooms in the evening(Yuu) , so it is called Yuugao. But these plants belong to the different families.

Yuugao seems too early to enjoy the bloom. We're looking forward to see it!

Iryiya Kishibojin. We couldn't enter the temple yard because of the big crowds of people.

A lot of people made the line to enter into the temple.

After enjoying shopping, we moved to Asakusa (it's close to Iriya) to enjoy the Tempra Dinner!
Our favorite Tempra restaurant "Sansada" is located in the side of Asakusa Kaminari-mon.

This is an old restaurant with 160-years history. The taste of tempra is great, and also the cost performance is good, too. Unfortunately, the atmosphere of the hall staffs (old ladies) is a little bit ,,,,,,, scary. If you talk with them, you'll find that they are friendly grannies, maybe, but,,, they make me feel the "DON'T BOTHER ME!"-aura. Actually, I love this restaurant, but I cannot get used to them.

Anyway we enjoyed our Tempra dinner! I recommend you to try delicious Tempra here, if you'll visit Asakusa.

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