Every year Japanese children write wishes on strips of colored paper and use them to decorate bamboo branches for a festival called Tanabata, which takes place on July 7th. Many bamboo branches decorated by kindergartens and schools associated with Kodai-ji are on display in the carpark of the Zen temple. It looks very pretty and festive. If you also have the time to pay the entrance fee and explore the temple's beautiful garden, you won't regret it.
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I came to Japan in 2003 to teach English. I lived in Shiga prefecture for 1 year, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Kyoto for 9 years, then moved to Machida, Tokyo in 2014 after meeting my Japanese partner. I love to take photos, and my Japan in Pictures Facebook page has some 40,000 followers. I have been the Regional Partner for Yamanashi Prefecture since 2014.I am enjoying exploring the prefectures around Tokyo (I like to get off the beaten track), and I hope the photos and stories I share will encourage more people to discover this wonderful country.