Wednesday, April 15, 2015

An Evening Stroll amongst the Sakura

Hanami - the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers, most commonly used in association with those of the sakura.

Knowing that the sakura season was going to pass by quickly, I was itching to get out at least once more to experience the beauty of the blooms. This time, however, I wanted to experience it off base and with the locals. When you take the time to experience something 'the local way', I feel that the experience is vastly more rewarding.

There was a local cherry blossom festival occurring, and while we didn't make it out in time for the festival.. we still managed to enjoy an evening stroll and 'Hanami'. The weather was a bit chilly, but there were lots of locals still out and about who greeted us with smiles as they strolled by with their families. We had already experienced a daytime viewing, so we opted for an evening viewing which would allow us the added ambiance of the glowing lanterns swaying gently in the boughs of the blossoming trees. Even though the song birds had gone to nest for the night, the gentle stillness was relaxing and a most enjoyable experience.

 A perk of venturing out later in the day... we had the walkway to ourselves for quite a bit.

We found ourselves in an open park area down by the Tama River filled with flower gardens beginning to bloom, a trickling stream, and a fabulous view of a train coming across the bridge.

Our very first family photo under the sakura!

Now that warmer weather is here, we hope to get out more & enjoy the sights!
Stay tuned for more adventures!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Sassenach amongst the Sakura

Springtime in Japan brings one of the most gorgeous events I have ever witnessed... the blooming of the cherry blossoms.. or Sakura, as they are called here. 

Sakura season can begin anywhere from the end of March to early May across Japan, depending on where you live. We are on the outskirts of the Tokyo area, so our predicted bloom week was the 1st weekend in April. However, some unseasonably warm weather caused the blooms to open about a week early. So my little & I grabbed the camera after school one day & took a walk around the base to admire the blooms in all their glory!

The first stop on our walk, were the trees right outside our apartment!
How lucky are we?!
The beauty of the sakura is far more amazing than my words could convey.. so I'll let the pictures do the talking!

These little fingers were itching to hold a delicate cherry blossom!
I adore this photo... it captures the delicate beauty of the blossom, but also my little boy who is forever getting his hands dirty on our nature walks.

We also ventured across the base to a housing area with a larger section of sakura lined streets.
Here we walked amongst the rays of sunshine, softly falling petals, and singing birds.

Sadly the beauty of Sakura season is very short lived. 
These glorious, but delicate, flowers only last two weeks at best.
We are so lucky to be able to look forward to experiencing this again during our time here.