Sunday, April 1, 2012

[japan] remembering the cherry blossoms

living in a tropical country all my life, i delight much on the idea of a climate with four seasons, the interesting change in the season from autumn to winter then spring to summer! not to mention, i can prep with different clothes each season! yeah, it sounds lame but it's a prerogative for the girly girl in me! haha

with how the philippines sits along the pacific rim, we practically have sunshine all year round. although with climate change, the weather can be so erratic nowadays that in a day full of sunshine, a gusty weather may possibly come the day after.

in many four-season countries, april is a spring month. after a cold winter, spring blossoms like an awakening from the dreariness and it feels like a renewal of hope, flourished with the abundance of life from the colorful flowers to the greenery, that embellish the once forlorn tree branches.

i had experienced spring twice when i headed off to japan in 2008 and 2009. i went there in early april on both instances, making just in time for whatever was left with the japanese spring.

White Sakura at Ueno Park, Tokyo

i knew then that i fell in love with spring! i loved the weather for it's the right cold for me. in a colloquial way of putting it, it's stepping outside with air-conditioning all over the place!

Pink Sakura in Ueno Park, Tokyo
Pink Sakura at Ueno Park, Tokyo

during my first visit to the country, i trod around tokyo alone because i didn't know anyone from work, saved only those few who were in the same company with me in cebu. but to get away from the awkwardness because none of them was close enough for my weird comfort, i preferred to wander on my own.

Sakura Trees in Ueno Park, Tokyo
Sakura Trees at Ueno Park, Tokyo

since i went there for work, weekends were a relief! although my free weekend that time was already late to catch up with the full bloom of sakura in ueno park.

Fallen Sakura in Yokohama

on my second trip the following year, i only had to appreciate the remaining sakura even if they were sadly on the ground. although some held on for me at least.

to celebrate this particular season of cherry blossoms, japan has this tradition called hanami (花見) which literally means flower viewing, "hana" () stands for flower and "mi" () means to watch or see. families and friends usually have picnics in parks, lined with multitudes of sakura trees. sadly, i missed this one.

cherry blossoms are somewhat a big deal for the japanese for they include it in their daily weather report with animation forecast from south to north. generally, this sakura event will constitute most of their news. here's a flowery website that i found dedicated to hanami but you have to translate it in google though. it has the sakura latest updates for this year. maybe you can still catch up if you hop on the next plane to the land of the rising sun!

i don't know if i will have a change of heart with spring for i have yet to experience autumn and winter. well, i'm counting more on autumn because winter may be too cold for me and its only edge is that i can frolic in a real snow.


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