14 Apr 2012


Speaking of spring, what does it bring to your mind? In Japan, Sakura (cherry blossom) represents spring. For some English people, snowdrops might be the flower which associated with spring.

What is Japan's attraction? My answer is the four seasons. Because they are very clearly defined in Japan. In fact, we have a high regard for the seasons. Since ancient times, Japanese people have enjoyed a sense of the seasons in their life, food, clothes, house, literature, arts etc... I think the origin of all Japanese delicate sensitivity comes from the natural four seasons. For example, we have seasonal colours, and ancient people matched the colour of the junihitoe (ceremonial attire) with season. Haiku must have a seasonal word. If you go to Japanese traditional sweet shops, you can enjoy seasonal flower shaped sweets in seeing and tasting.

The cherry blossoms are blooming beautifully now in various parts of Japan. People enjoy cherry blossom viewing and having 'ohanami' parties under the trees. But there's a phrase 'hana yori dango', which means 'people prefer to eating rather than viewing sakura' as the same as 'pudding rather than praise'. This might be the state of things in today.

The best time to view cherry blossoms in Sendai is next week or so. I haven't seen cherry blossom in full blossom this year yet, but I'll show you some pictures I saw in the past.

2008 Wakuya Shrine in Miyagi

2008 in Wakuya, Miyagi

2009 Chomeidate-ato, Miyagi
2010 Yamagata, beautiful contrast with snow mountain
2010 Kamanokoshi, Yamagata
2010 Ogawara, Miyagi
2010 Funaokajoshi, Miyagi
2011 Asahigaoka, Miyagi;
This tree put a smile in my heart after the earthquake.