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Posts Tagged ‘San Jose’

beautiful roses

It's easy to be drawn to these vibrant charmers.

It’s the season when roses bloom. A good time to visit the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden.

The garden features about 4,000 roses representing 200 varieties. An interesting fact about the garden: it was once a prune orchard. It was bought by the city in 1927 and became devoted exclusively to roses.

What I like most about the varieties is that whether you like roses with intense hues or those with subtle, delicate shades, they all can be found in this garden.

It is said that the rose is the most popular flower in the world, and in the United States, the rose is named as the favorite flower of 85% of Americans.

A walk in this garden not only enables one to linger and “take time to smell the roses”, but also to invite the colors of nature into one’s day.

peach roses

I kept admiring the exquisite form of the petals, and the elegant colors..

rose garden

The hint of lavender adds a delightful detail.

red roses

This rose garden has about 200 varieties of the flower.

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old-fashioned Christmas

The carolers added colorful notes to the event.

Christmas berries and foliage

I enjoyed creating this centerpiece.

Away from the shopping crowds, and it was just as enjoyable.

I spent a day at a Heritage Holiday Christmas event held at the History Park in San Jose. The Park features original and reproduction homes and buildings, giving a glimpse of Santa Clara Valley’s past.

There were lots to see, and at times, it was possible to feel that you were traipsing back into time. I particularly enjoyed visiting the homes that were furnished to reflect the era of the homeowner. The Hill House, for instance, was the home of Andrew P. Hill, a renowned local photographer, artist and protector of the Big Basin redwood trees. He lived there from 1898 and in the parlor there is his beautiful painting of the redwoods that he loved.

There were also interactive events for adults and children, and a popular one was the Christmas Centerpiece workshop organized by the Santa Clara County Master Gardeners. Anyone could just walk in and learn to make a centerpiece using a variety of foliage, pine and berries. A very helpful master gardener, Sylvia, invited me to try my hand, and guided me in putting one together.

My centerpiece might be a little lop-sided, but hey, I still like it.

Ford Model T

A Ford Model T decked out for the holidays. Behind it is the 19th century print shop.

Santa and fire engine

Santa arriving in a gleaming vintage fire engine.

Christmas centerpiece

Visitors could learn to make a Christmas centerpiece. Here, master gardener Dennis showed a few samples.

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Japantown San Jose

Enjoying a festival celebrating their heritage.

Japanese community in AmericaI’ve always been quite fascinated by the Japanese culture, but so far, have not had the opportunity to visit Japan. So I enjoy visiting Japantown in California.

Japantown is the name for official Japanese communities in the United States, which developed with the widespread immigration of the Japanese population beginning in the late 19th century. As such, it has a great deal of history. Today, there are three recognized Japantowns left in the United States, all in California: in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose.

I’m quite familiar with the one in LA which is also known as Little Tokyo, but I must admit that I didn’t know about the Japantown in San Jose. (There is a interesting discussion on this topic at this blog site)

Recently I had a chance to visit Japantown San Jose during its Spirit of Japantown festival. My first impression is that it is less touristy that Japantown Los Angeles. It has a more cozy feel, and has some unique shops including a ukulele shop.

The  vendor stalls, many selling Japanese and Japanese inspired crafts and goods, beckoned with their colors. Some young people got into the spirit of the festival, dressed in eye-catching styles, like they do in Sunday gatherings in Tokyo.

Away from the hot day, I walked into a bonsai exhibition and a studio/gallery, Art Object Gallery owned by artist Ken Matsumoto who creates abstract stone sculptures. He explained that one of the focus of his gallery is to promote the works of artists in the San Francisco Bay area, and he hopes that his gallery will be an asset to Japantown.

I like the atmosphere here, and I think I’ll be back for a visit and a stroll.

bonsai/San Jose Japantown

The majestic cypress as a bonsai – still majestic in its miniaturized beauty.

art gallery japantown san jose

Ceramics exhibited at Art Object Gallery.

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