Sakura 2010

Sakura for 2010 has come and gone. Well, I assume it is gone since I’m not actually in Japan at this time. When I left last week, the wind and the rain were taking their toll on the trees.

I was able to enjoy sakura a little bit this year, although I think the peak time was probably when I was in between traveling to and from the UK just prior to traveling to the US. On a side note, I will say that I am very relieved that I got out of the UK before Eyjafjallajokull erupted. (Say Eyjafjallajokull fast three times, come on, I DARE you!). So, although I missed the peak, I did get some early viewing in and some night viewing.

Sakura 2010

Luckily, Yahoo! Japan has an entire guide to cherry blossoms on their website, so you can see EXACTLY what the conditions are throughout the country. There are also other websites dedicated to watching the progress of the blossoms, such as this one for Nagoya.

Tomo and I went to Tsuramai Park early in the season for our own little 花見 (はなみ – hanami – cherry blossom viewing party). As always, you can count on festival foods – the really unhealthy stuff. We had からあげ (karaage – fried chicken), 焼そば (yakisoba – fried soba noodles), and were tempted by たこ焼き (takoyaki – squid in a dough ball). And, of course, beer. Public consumption of alcohol is stilled allowed in Japan. I wonder when that will end?

A week later I went out on my own on a lonely Saturday night to 山崎川 (やまざきがわ – Yamazakigawa). I knew that Yamazakigawa had illumination and I thought that the path started near Aratamabashi, but when I found the river and started walking the correct direction (courtesy of my trusty iPhone GPS) I was underwhelmed. There were lots of cherry trees but very low level lighting. It was cold as well, and I was bundled up. I kept walking though, knowing that there should be something more dramatic. Eventually I found a mob of people and overly illuminated cherry trees. Clearly I was there.

Sakura is a great time of year in Japan, signaling the beginning of springtime. Once I returned from the UK, spring was busting out all over. I’m sure that when I get back just before Golden Week, Spring will have sprung completely.

Enjoying Tsuramai (or Tsurama) Park.

Sakura 2010 - Tsurama Park

Sakura 2010 - Tsurama Park

Sakura 2010 - Tsurama Park

 

The underwhelming night view along Yamazakigawa…

Sakura 2010 - Yamazakigawa

 

… that fortunately got better further down the path.

Sakura 2010 - Yamazakigawa

Sakura 2010 - Yamazakigawa

Sakura 2010 - Yamazakigawa

 

As I was meandering through the streets trying to find my way to a different subway station, saved again by my iPhone GPS, I stumbled across some interesting architecture including this overgrown gerbil habitat. Interesting.

Habitrail for Humanity