Dance of the Chinese bellflowers, Nara

Chinese bellflowers, known in Japan as kikyo, are in full bloom at the World Heritage Site of Gangoji Temple, Nara. With their balloon-like buds and star-shaped flowers, kikyo have a special place in Japanese culture, being associated with purity and sincerity, and believed by some to bring good luck. They frequently appear in traditional literature. About 1,000 plants can be seen at the temple, between rows of stone Buddhas.

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