They say that nature comes alive in spring; that it awakens from its long winter’s sleep. That is no truer than in Japan when the blossoms open their faces to the warming sun. It also seems to be a time of awakening for the people as well. This time of year is by far the most beautiful. It is always a pleasure to venture out to take in the season and enjoy Ohanami.
My viewing so far this year took me for a Sunday trip to the Emperor’s palace in Kyoto. The weather was cooperative, providing a warm, dazzlingly clear sunshiny day in which I could walk the grounds without a coat and marvel at the beauty around me. There were many other people also enjoying the gift of the day, and as is the nature of the Japanese, they were all happy and very friendly. The children running and playing among the trees added greater life to the moment and brought out a certain reminiscence of innocence within me.
From there, I strolled along the Sakura-lined Kamogawa, where it was also a thrill to see others soaking up the weather with a bento. Occasionally the strains of a live guitar or the melody of recorded music floated upon the air, mingling with the spring essence. Walking through a storm of cherry petals blown on the wind also added a certain calming serenity to the day, reminding me of one of the many reasons why I love living in Japan.