Aichi #1: Shachi (鯱)

What are shachi exactly? Well, the exact translation depends on who you’re talking to. Many call them “orca” or “dolphin”, but they’ve got the head of a tiger with the body of a carp. Traditionally, they’re placed on the corners of castle roofs to bring good luck and to protect from fire. In Aichi, the ones on Nagoya Castle are covered in gold-leaf, making them the shiniest and most famous shachi in Japan.

Shachi on top of Nagoya Castle in Aichi Prefecture

More sedate shachi, these displayed at Kagoshima Castle

I enjoyed this display from Himeji Castle in Okayama, showing the progression of style in different eras, Edo, Meiji, and Showa.

Shachi can be found on even the smallest castles around the country, but I thought Nagoya Castle’s were quite impressive!

Cherry Blossom Season

Ahhh, Spring has sprung! A number of exceptionally warm days has heralded the start of the sakura (Cherry Blossom) season, and blooms have popped open on trees like popcorn, seemingly overnight! It feels like only yesterday it was cold and miserable, with the plums barely starting. Now it is a huge change!

Today I bring you another Postcard Element Post, this time highlighting everyone’s favorite flower! It seems to be postacollect’s favorite too, as we have a whopping 6 postcards featuring or containing sakura!

Aichi #4: Inuyama Castle (犬山城)
Nara #4: Mt. Yoshino Cherries (吉野山の桜)
Shizuoka #6: Mt. Fuji Hongu Sengen Shrine (富士山本宮浅間大社)
Aomori #7: Hirosaki Castle (弘前城)
Fukushima #7: Miharu Waterfall Cherry Tree (三春滝桜)
Kyoto #7: Ryuuan Temple Rock Garden (龍安寺石庭)

And a close up of the real thing:

I hope you can enjoy these beautiful flowers!

(Also, apologies for posting this a day late!)