Throwback Thursday: Originally written on April 23, 2014
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…!
(Besides Christmas, that is!)
When you picture Japan, you probably think of cherry blossoms (桜, sakura). They are a national symbol of spring here in Japan and they tend to be featured heavily in advertisements, TV programs, movies, tourist websites, and all other media. In fact, there are forecasts produced by the Japanese media solely to predict when the cherry blossoms will bloom!
At first, I thought this was all a little crazy. I wanted to see the cherry blossoms as much as (if not more than) the next ALT, but to have cherry blossom forecasts?!
March turned into April and, I admit, I got just as excited as my fellow teachers when my school’s cherry trees started to bud.
I watched them closely with anticipation and took pictures of their progress almost every day. Last week, they were turning more and more pink.
This weekend, their flowers started to open. My excitement grew even more.
And today, in full bloom, they look like puffy, pink clouds!
And they are EVERYWHERE. Trees that I saw every day over the summer that I thought were ordinary trees have surprised me, brightening the mountainsides with their pink flowers. Even the local park has turned into a sea of pink!
Pictures can’t do the beauty of them justice.
There is a cherry blossom festival happening at the local park this week. Red and white lanterns are strung along pathways tunnelled by cherry trees in full bloom. It’s the perfect place to go sit under the blossoms, eat festival foods, and enjoy the beauty that is the Japanese spring (which also happens to be my first real spring ever – I’m realizing now that Newfoundland doesn’t have a spring)!
Now that I’ve seen my first cherry trees in full bloom, I completely understand why the Japanese are obsessed with them and I’m already looking forward to next year’s spring!