Talk about a place 2 explore! Japan is one of my favorites! I have been there many times for business, but rarely have a chance to see the sights as I am always working. But last year we finished meetings early and it was exactly this time of year – April 8-15th. At this time the Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom! It was my first time to ever see them in Japan in all my visits. I must say that after this visit, I would enjoy going back to Japan in early April anytime! As you have to check the schedule, the Cherry Blossoms bloom at different times in Japan. I had missed Tokyo, but up north were I was located they were in full bloom. I was taken to Kakunodate (Ka-Ku-No-Dot-Tay) – 3 hours by train from Tokyo – founded n 1620. They have a famous river that has Cherry Blossom trees growing on both sides and it is a very popular place to visit in Japan in April.
We arrived by train and got off in the little town of Kakunodate. Small shops and quaint houses are everywhere. They had the streets lined above with banners welcoming the guests to their town. In about a 5 minute walk we arrived to the Samurai Residences. There are 80 samurai residences in the town. The quarters are close together and you can walk down closed off streets to see them and some houses still have people living in them. There are open areas in the residences where you can watch tea ceremonies while they are wearing the traditional outfits from years past. Its interesting to see.
We got to the river and WOW what a sight to see!! So amazing! We walked around and I took pictures. Many tour buses were parked alongside the river also with people walking everywhere. As it was mid week it was not too crowded. On each side of the river the trees are planted about 20 feet apart. This gives you a walking path between the Cherry Blossoms. As the trees were fully mature – you look up and you are covered by the blossoms – like a tunnel. One thing I will never forget was that as you walked on path through the trees, the Cherry Blossom petals would fall every so gently to the ground – like a feather. You would get quite a few falling as you walked and it was just so sureal. I had a trememdous smile on my face and a wondeful memory to have! A visit I will never forget!
I can write tons about Japan…Tokyo, Shinjuku, Osaka…so I save that for future posts. But if can get to Japan in early April…it about 70 degrees at this time and just so beautiful!!! Dont worry – in Tokyo they have McDonalds, KFC, Wendy’s, Burger King…so food is not problem for those that think they may struggle. Sayonara til tomorrow!