[The torii of the Hirano Shrine among cherry blossoms]
[The sakura park next to the Hirano Shrine]
[Colorfully dressed participants in the procession of the Sakura Festival]
[Priests and dignataries of the Hirano Shrine]
It goes something like this:
young and greenthe pine trees of Hiranoagain and again put forthon their branchescountless leaves
[wakaba sasu | Hirano no matsu wa | sara ni mata | eda ni yachiyo no | kazu wo sofuran]"May the reign of our emperor also flourish like this," is the implication at the end. So here, in the "level field" north of the capital enclosure, grew stately pine trees which were seen as symbolic for the long life and prosperity granted by the shrine deities to the imperial house. Blossoms and squid were still a long way off.
Access: Bus 205 or 50 from Kyoto Station to Kinugasako-mae. Bus 15 from Sanjo Keihan to the same stop. Within walking distance from Ninnaji, Kitano Tenmangu and Kinkakuji. Grounds free.