Yukitsuri ( Hanging snow)

You might be enjoying a skiing holiday right now. I have heard that is has been snowing a lot in Japan this winter. The snow is so pretty, and it’s almost like being in a fantasy world when there is a very quiet, white night. However, it’s not the best time for trees in the garden in snowy countries. 
Kanazawa city is in north-western Japan, and they have lots of snowfall in winter. Their beautiful Japanese garden ‘Kenrokuen’ famously organises ‘yukitsuri’ to protect their 800 trees. They start on the 1st of November and don’t use any machines to do it – it is all put up manually only using natural materials such as ropes, bamboo, and timber. It takes 6 weeks to cover the 800 trees and plants in the garden.

 The snow that falls in the area isn’t powdery, it is wet and heavy and it’s too heavy for Kenrokuen’s old trees. It’s beautiful to see the yukitsuri without the snow, but they also look so elegant covered in snow, like in the attached picture.

This technique has been used in Kanazawa since the 17th century, and they still use the same traditional method. Many tourists visit Kenrokuen to see the yukitsuri, as well as the beauty of the garden. 

 Some people say that the pine trees have Japanese umbrellas, but it reminds me of a Chasen (bamboo whisk). As you might know, I am a bit obsessed with matcha…!

There aren’t a huge number of outdoor activities in the winter season, and gardens in winter aren’t always beautiful. But this yukitsuri gives me the idea that functionality and creativity can stimulate each other and can produces unique and individual beauty. 

 We can’t see many colours, leaves or flowers in the garden right now, all the trees and plants are hibernating and keeping their energy for the spring, It’s a great time to look after these quiet trees and plants which will bring us great joy when they bloom in a couple of months. 



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