Spring event Netherlands intercultural bike tour Verita's Visit

Visit Japanese Garden Hague & Leiden Japan Market

Updated

The Japanese garden The Hague is only open 6 weeks in spring and 2 weeks in autumn. In 2020 spring opening is from May 1 till 14 June from 9:00 AM till 8:00 PM. Autumn opening will be from 10 till 25 October.  Every time I visit the garden, I'm just overwhelmed by all the colors! There is one particular day in spring which I book in my agenda and that's the day of the Japanese market in Leiden. A full Japan day in in the Netherlands!

Visit Japan in The Hague & Leiden

Last year I started my Japanese day trip in the Netherlands with a bike ride through Clingedael and a first stop at the Japanese garden The Hague, from there I cycled part of the The Hague estates route and then from Wassenaar to Leiden. In Leiden centre I parked my bike close to Rapenburg and visited the Japanese market. In 2021  I have planned a bike tour  to the Japanese Garden The Hague, a couple of stops in the nature in The Hague/ Leiden area & a visit Japan Market Leiden. Contact me to find out more.

Bridge Japanese Garden The Hague-veritasvisit

Japanese Garden in The Hague Park

The Japanese garden is the most famous of the gardens in Clingendael. It attracts over 10.000 visitors a year. One of the reasons why it is such an attraction is definitely the multitud of colours. The colours of the Japanese maples, azaleas are splendid in spring as well as in autumn.  And then there is the red bridge, one of the most picturesque and most photographed objects in the garden.

Colours as well as objects have a special meaning in this garden. Shinto is an ideology, religion and way of life which is strongly rooted in Japanese society. The design, the ornaments, the colours used in the Japanese garden The Hague  all have a symbolic meaning.

Do you feel joy and peace at the moment you see the red bridge? That is just the intention of the designer of the garden. According to Shinto the colour red is used to chase away all the bad spirits. Seeing the colour makes you feel happy.

Flag Japan market Sieboldhuis Leiden-veritasvisit

Japan Market Leiden

If you pay attention, you will also see a lot of red on the Japan market in Leiden. This year the celebration of  Japanese culture, food, music and arts takes place on Sunday, 23 May 2021.

It will be a fantastic way to try out the Japanese martial arts, feel the beautiful kimonos, taste the sushi and the sake, see the manga fans, hear traditional Japanese music & enjoy the different stalls full of typical Japanese products. The market is a beautiful way of crossing cultural bridges and showing the century old ties between Leiden and Japan. It will make you happy, no matter what color you see ;)


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Cow-outside-first-time-veritasvisit cow dance koeiendans

Cows going outside for first time

In different areas throughout the Netherlands there are cows going outside for first time in 2020. Mid-March a farmer in Flevoland was the first to let out his dairy cows in the green pastures. Living in The Hague and being a big fan of the dairy and cheese farms in Leiden area, I searched for a chance to see the cow dance in my neighbourhood.

Cow Dance

Cowdance, in Dutch called koeiendans is the frolic jumping, twirling and running of cows let out in the meadows for the first time in spring. I saw the cows going outside for the first time at different dairy & cheese farms in Hague/ Delft / Leiden area in previous years.  Boerderij de Vierhuizen is one of my favourites. It's an amazing farm with calfs, lambs and there's a lovely atmosphere.

Dry land, fresh grass

I've had quite some conversations with the farmers on when it's the right time to let the cows dance. Cows can't dance when the soil is still soggy, cows can't eat grass when grass hasn't grown yet. If the farmer lets his cows out to early, they trip in the soggy soil and will need to get back into the barn again as there is no grass yet. It's actually quite animal unfriendly to let them out too early. You will surely enjoy the cow dance more if you wait a bit.

Cows going outside first time in spring the Netherlands Verita's Visit on tour
A little race going on between cows going outside first time in 2019.
frolic cows in spring dance Verita's visit bike ride
April is generally the best month to let the cows out. The grass has then grown high enough and the land is not that soggy anymore
Sometimes it's just great showing your excitement, even when all other cows have finished jumping around.
Sometimes it's just great showing your excitement, even when all other cows have finished jumping around.
Be a Dutch cow in spring workshop Verita's Visit
Just really getting connected with the ground & the fresh grass

 

Life gets back to normal. Here's a poor lonesome cow on a long long way from home.
Life gets back to normal. Here's a poor lonesome cow a long long way from home.

This beautiful video by Midvliet TV was made in and around the cheese farm. In the spotlight the cheese farmer, the happy cows and....me :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFDHeivB8yk

 

Cow Alert

Land van Wijk en Wouden, in Leiden area gives you the opportunity to register for a 'cow alert'. This way you receive the latest updates on when and on which dairy and cheese farms in the area between Leiden and Zoetermeer you can see the the cows going outside for first time in 2021.

Vockestaert, in Delft area also has a cow alert. They publish the dates you can see the cow dance on their FB page.

Do you want to know more about the cheese that  is made out of the milk given by a cow that has eaten fresh grass again after a long time? If you want to find out, just get in touch. 

 


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Story and History of Flag Day Scheveningen

Scheveningen logo herring-veritasvisitMy first visit to Flag Day Scheveningen  was out of curiousity. I heard that the whole festival around herring, and more precisely the new herring. But, if it was all about the herring, why wasn’t  it called Herring Day or Herring Festival? I decided it was time to unravel the mystery and look for the story and history of Flag Day Scheveningen...

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Remembrance Day Bevrijdingsdag HerdenkingDen Haag

Peaceful place in The Hague to remember- Waalsdorpervlakte

Remembrance Day Bevrijdingsdag HerdenkingDen Haag

At Peace in a Quiet Place in the Netherlands

It's May holiday. Today I just want to get away from the city a bit, visit nature and enjoy the silence there. There's a special reason I'm looking for a quiet place in Holland today...

it's Remembrance Day. Throughout the Netherlands memorial services and silent marches take place to commemorate those who gave their lives for our freedom during WWII, but also in wars and peacekeeping missions after 1945.

Haag natuur vrede tocht Hague nature cycling guide Verita's Visit Holland

Freedom to enjoy nature

On this day, the 4th of May,  I take my bike and cycle to the Waalsdorpervlakte, to just sit in the sand with nothing around me but birds and trees. This is the most peaceful place in The Hague for me. I lay down and look up into the clouded sky and I realise how fortunate I am to have the liberty to just be here and enjoy the Dutch nature. Freedom seems such a common thing, untill you stop for a moment to think about what you have.

Quiet place Hague-veritasvisit

Nature around The Hague

Waalsdorpervlakte is a beautiful natural area, near the Nordsea coastline & the dunes. It's  a peaceful place in The Hague. It's also an important historical marker: many Dutch resistance fighters were executed here. It is one of the mayor locations in Holland where a memorial service is held. A big bell will ring. Except for this year, 2021. A small ceremony without public attendance will happen. The Dutch people are requested to stay at home and watch the ceremony online.

Two minutes of silence

When the clock strikes 8, the Netherland observes two minutes of silence, to remember and honour those who died for our freedom.


 

Visit the  website of the tourist office The Hague for more information on the memorial service at Waalsdorpervlakte.

This is a list of all memorial services in The Hague in 2019 (in Dutch)

For more information on the Dutch Rememberance Day and Liberation Day on the 5th of May, go to 4en5mei.nl

The Netherlands is celebrating 75 years of Freedom in the Netherlands in 2020. For all activities go to Tweedewereldoorlog.nl.

These websites are in Dutch. If you are interested in a specific activity, do let me know, I do my best to find more information.

If you would like to visit Waalsdorpervlakte and surroundings with Verita's Visit, contact me for a personalised tour.