...Gil used to experience Sakura season during his previous Japan assignments and just before the last cherry blossom petal falls, he wanted to share some of his precious photographs along with this article which he written himself as he reminisce the experience beneath the Sakura.
Two years had passed since I last saw the astounding beauty of cherry blossom also known as “Sakura” in Owariasahi City, Aichi, Japan. And it still brings back the wonderful memory.
Cherry Blossom Up-close:
Strange, I only have two pictures of Cherry Blossom way back year 2004. Maybe I was still in awe during my early stay in Japan that I forgot to bring home with me some nice pictures. (The other pictures posted here were taken in year 2008)
My first picture of Cherry Blossom
This small shrine is located near the dormitory where I stay
Depending on the climate and location, the flowers of Sakura bloom as early as January on the southern part of Japan while on the northern part it bloom as late as May. Along the riverbank in Ibaraki Prefecture (a 2-hours bus ride from Tokyo) where I work, the Cherry Blossom starts to bloom mid-March.
Shiroyama Park, Owariasahi City
The short life cycle of Sakura flowers has been associated with nature of life. It takes about a week for all the flowers to its full bloom and another week until all the petals fall to ground. Strong wind and rain may even shorten this period. For this reason, Japanese and tourists pay attention to when is the best possible viewing days.
Underneath the Tree...
It is customary for the Japanese to hold a flower-viewing party under the Cherry Blossom. The comfortable ambience and the unique contrast of colors (pale pink flowers and brown branches) of this tree not only provide shelter to its guests but also relaxation and enjoyment.
I am not familiar with the varieties of Cherry Blossom as they all look the same to me. Others maybe taller and wider, but once I am underneath and watching the petals as they fall to the ground or touch my skin, the feeling is really indescribable.
Skyward Asahi tower at the back- an astronomical observatory
The start of Sakura signifies the end of winter and the start of spring. Just before the spring ends signals my arrival to Japan from last year onwards since I requested the change of schedule from March-July to July-November so I may spend time with Michelle on her birthday, a more important event of course than my favorite Sakura season.
...As I hope to witness Sakura with her the next time around.