Cherry blossoms are a long tradition in Japan. Long, long ago and nowadays, Japanese people like to visit areas with lots of sakura trees and relax, or party…or whatever.
You may be wondering: How do people know when cherry blossoms will be blooming in the area in which they live? Japan is a long and thin country, stretching mostly from south to north. So each year, there is a map that predicts when the blossoms will be blooming. It’s the cherry blossom front, in Japanese: sakura zensen.
It’s the end of April here in Fukushima, so for me the cherry blossoms are long gone. However, I’ll show some photos I took on the way home from Mochizuri Kannon (which I visited in my last post.) What’s interesting is that on the SAME DAY that it was too early for cherry blossoms at Mochizuri Kannon, the blossoms were already blooming in Fukushima City. A slight change of temperature changes when the blossoms bloom. It can be really tricky then to plan one’s cherry blossom party at the right time. A little early, a little late… just right!
Heading back towards the city. This is inside Fukushima City limits, but it’s not the downtown area. I don’t usually go to this area–there’s nothing out here for me.
Now we are very close to downtown Fukushima City. This is Mount Shinobu (Shinobuyama). I love this mountain! A little mountain near my home.
This is the Fukushima City’s culture center. (Bunka Sentaa) Often, if there is a live performance, this is where it will be held. That’s still Mount Shinobu in the background. It’s a low mountain, but quite long.
Again, still Mount Shinobu. (I had been biking alongside it.) This is a park…and if you climb up at this point you will find the mountain’s famous cherry blossom spot. I’m quite close to home at this point.
Down the street to my house. This is a local high school. What’s interesting here is that you can see two different types of cherry blossom trees in this photo. One at the left (purplish) and one on the right (whitish.)
So I made it home safe and sound! Every year, it feels that cherry blossom season comes and goes so quickly. It’s a lovely time when the weather is so comfortable. After May, we will enter the rainy season….and then a horribly humid and hot summer! Can’t wait to be sweltering! Well, for now, I will appreciate warm breezes and gentle sunshine.