Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cherry blossoms in Hiroshima

Cherry blossom season is a special time in Japan, one regarded with much reverence. Every year around early April the Hiroshima landscape bursts into a cloud of ethereal pink blossoms that stay just 10 days before unceremoniously fading away almost before you can notice.

The Japanese take advantage of their arrival by planning picnics under the blossoms. During hanami (literally, flower watching) season, the parks fill with people splayed out on plastic blue tarps covered with all manner of Japanese snacks and sake.

I enjoyed the blossoms in a number of spots this year, including my own neighborhood, Peace Park, Mitaki Temple and Senkoji Park in Onomichi city. It's always a pleasure to slow down and appreciate the cherry blossoms, and there's no doubt we'll miss this piece of Japan when we go.

Some more photos:

Sakura with Japanese lantern in Onomichi

Giant cherry tree on my way to work:

Around Mitaki Temple:

In Hiroshima's Peace Park by the Atomic Bomb Dome:


AdelaideBen said...

Beautiful photos... something extra stark about seeing the bomb dome against a blanket of cherry blossoms. Hard to imagine what it would have been like when it happened.

echo said...

These are some of the best cherry blossoms photos I've ever seen! Just amazing!

Gail said...

Thanks guys!

Diane said...

Beautiful pics. The park was pretty gray and dreary when we visited you, so it's interesting to see it all dressed up!