The past few days it has been 70+ degrees here in Austin. So nice to feel spring weather! Some of us are only a few weeks away! Green grass and flowers will pop up soon! I cannot wait. So I was thinking of a trip I had to Japan in April a while back. I had just missed the Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo, but luckily was traveling up north in Japan. The Cherry Blossoms were in full bloom! We went out to lunch one afternoon the roads in town were so beautiful…trees everywhere!! For the shot above, I asked my co-worker to pull over so I can grab a photo. I looked up at the great tree and snapped away! If you are ever planning a visit to Japan…the first few weeks of April is Cherry Blossom time! A dream of mine would be to visit Kyoto with the Blossoms in full beauty! Sayonara!
From my recent visit…here is a Cherry Blossom tree in near full bloom from Tokyo! This tree was the only one this far along at this early point of the spring…so a special tree! I enjoy seeing the Japanese architecture in the shot as well! There was a temple nearby…I will post a shot from there soon. These days there are Cherry Blossoms all over the US…Washington DC, New York City, San Francisco. Possible gifts from Japan! Arigato Gozaimasu!!! =)
Some info from the web: In Japan cherry blossoms also symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse, besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life,an aspect of Japanese cultural tradition that is often associated with Buddhistic influence,and which is embodied in the concept of mono no aware. The association of the cherry blossom with mono no aware dates back to 18th-century scholar Motoori Norinaga.The transience of the blossoms, the extreme beauty and quick death, has often been associated with mortality;for this reason, cherry blossoms are richly symbolic, and have been utilized often in Japanese art, manga, anime, and film, as well as at musical performances for ambient effect. The band Kagrra, which is associated with the visual kei movement, is an example of this latter phenomenon. There is at least one popular folk song, originally meant for the shakuhachi (bamboo flute), titled “Sakura”, and several pop songs. The flower is also represented on all manner of consumer goods in Japan, including kimono, stationery, and dishware. Cherry blossom is an omen of good fortune and is also an emblem of love, affection and represents spring. Cherry blossoms are an enduring metaphor for the fleeting nature of life, and as such are frequently depicted in art.
I was in Japan last week and had a free morning on Saturday before my flight left to take some photos. I was staying in Tokyo and was happy to get a chance to see the Cherry Blossoms just starting to bloom! It is a magical time in Japan. The next 2 weeks in Tokyo will be amazing! If you ever get a chance to visit this time of year…it is indeed special! This tree was going strong! A few others were not as far along as this one. There was a nice crowd around this particular tree as you can see how beautiful it was! I added a little diffuse glow to the photo to soften the look a bit. I have an HDR from here as well…will post it soon! Spring has arrived!