Saturday, April 01, 2006

Clouds of pink blossoms

Everyone eagerly awaits the magnificent spring display of cherry blossoms, and this is the optimum week! Clouds of pink blossoms are everywhere, and the contrast against the dark color of the tree bark is stunning.

These pictures were taken early in the morning in Jiyugaoka before work on what's usually a very crowded boulevard. By afternoon, thousands of people had gathered to view the trees.

One of my students, a business man, told me that every year companies have Sakura parties where all employees meet up outdoors at some particularly wonderful site to view the cherry blossoms. Usually, the newest "member" of the company is sent out to "hold the best spot" early in the day before anyone else can grab it. It's a long and boring day guarding the spot, marked by a blue plastic tarp, against encroachers. Anyone who's ever had this duty is glad to never have to worry about doing it again. At these parties, the sake flows freely and people get quite drunk, I've been told. This picture was blatantly "borrowed" from another blogger flicker user Kanagawa_keng (hoping he or she won't mind) showing the early arrival of freshman salarymen who lay out their blue tarps to reserve their company's party space.

Pedestrian, train, and car traffic have been intense and people even go out at night to view the trees. Many people say that spring has been extra cold this year and the wind has been especially strong, but even so, everyone seems to venture out on this yearly ritual to enjoy the Sakura.

What a shame it only lasts for a couple of weeks, but now I'm waiting to watch the petals fall to the ground where they will look like soft-pink snow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, thanks for posting that. It made me think of the time I spent in Japan.