Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sakura love

I've been sick :( I had a wretched flu for like a fortnight, AND I had to have a mole cut out, AND I had a lump in my neck that had to be seen to. Bah. So apologies for the belatedness of this post.

Anyways! Here are some sakura photos. If you're not into pink flowers then just head soewhere else right now, because that's what you'll be seeing here.

My first real sakura mankai! The sakura season was a bit late this year so we didn't see much until we got to Hakone halfway through the trip - up until then it had been just a few bold flowers poking their heads out here and there. This tree must have been the year's first for a lot of people because even though it was nearly dark and freezing cold, there were dozens of people taking photos of it. On a narrow traffic bridge. Yeah.

This was in Hakone too. Not much else to add *^^*;;

Philosopher's Path in Kyoto. It was such a beautiful sunny day that day, and the flowers were all blooming happily - it was really magical.

More Philosopher's Path. It wasn't very crowded, which really surprised me! The previous day in Kyoto we'd been up to Kiyomizudera, and the crowds were probably the thickest I've ever seen in Japan, which is really saying something.

Closeup. Looking at these photos makes me misty-nostalgic.

These ones on Miyajima were the first properly pink ones I'd seen, and I was unreasonably excited.

Leaves and flowers together. Pretty!

Deer plus sakura. These deer were super chill. They were really not bothered by us getting all in their faces with cameras.

Osaka castle park. By the time we reached Osaka, the season was starting to wind up and there were petal carpets everywhere. Ant and I had had a minor tiff the morning we went here (you know the sort, travel fatigue sets in and you're both unreasonably grumpy about something extraordinarily minor) and I was in a bit of a bad mood. But as soon as we got to the park, that mood dissolved away instantly. The power of pretty! I could have stayed in this spot in the park for hours, it was so serene and beautiful.

There was a garden with different sakura varieties in the castle park. I thought this one was quite unusual, with its variegation and whatnot.

Final full day in Japan we went to Shitennoji Temple. We had no idea it would be the best sakura-hunting location of the whole trip.

There was a little grove of trees all centered around a pond that was covered in fallen petals. The petal carpet around the trees was at least half an inch thick. It was just incredibly beautiful - these pictures really don't do it justice unfortunately. (iPhone cameras are good but they're not *that* good.)

Another shot in the same grotto. Siiiiiigh.

Having seen sakura in the flesh (there's one life goal I can tick off) I really understand now that a large amount of their appeal is in their ephemeral nature. They're so lovely, so fragile, and so likely to be gone the next time you walk by. You have to appreciate them the moment you see them, and make the best of every moment you have. With that in mind, I'd like to book another trip to Japan to get some more moments to make the best of :)