Tokyo, Procrastination
This weekend the sakura ,cherry blossoms, were man kai... in full bloom. And they really were stunning. The blossom laden branches always kind of remind me a bit of pale pink octopus legs waving in the wind. From a distance, the blossoms have that same kind of texture. I am apparantly the only one who has ever made this connection though. So maybe I am just weird.

The usually stinky Tokyo air has been scented with the faintest hint of cinnamon sweetness that is the scent of cherry blossoms. People all over the place are copping a spot under whatever cherry tree they can find and having a picnic with family, friends or co-workers. And picining under the cherry blossoms and having a drink is often the best excuse for busy people to make time to spend with friends they haven't seen for a long time.

The two main party seasons in Japan: end of the year parties (bon nen kai) and hana-mi (sitting under cherry blossoms and drinking, eating, having a good chat).

This will be a short season this year. We had a lot of rain and high wind today that will have peeled off most of the petals. Otherwise, we might have gotten one more weekend of the season in.

I had a chance to go walking outside before the rain got too heavy. The rain dampened the chemical stink of cars and city and rejuvinated the earthy smell that struggles in a city and highlighted that delicious cherry blossom scent. I say delicious because some Japanese sweets are made using that essence and it tastes just like that smell!

Another thing that people really like here is watching the petals fall of the trees like spring snow or wedding confetti. And that really is the symbol, it buds, it blossoms, it's beauty is enjoyed, and then it's no more.. just a memory in the wind.

I'd say that today, the wedding confetti image held more strongly... like throwing confetti on a rainy day. It just kind of falls in clumps rather than flutters and just sticks to everything.

Still, I like looking at the petals stuck to the pavement and the piles of flowers and petals that gather up in small dunes in the gutters, along sidewalks and against houses.

For some reason, this year, I feel the whole cycle of the sakura much more strongly.

Comments (Page 2)
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on Apr 25, 2006
t's a Renku.

Neat! Thanks for posting that. I hadn't heard of this before so I checked it out and I'm really interested.

on Apr 25, 2006
Most of the blossoms have fallen off now except for a few type of trees which are late blooming by nature.

Just returned home to Korea from a minibreak in Japan. Most of the blossoms have indeed fallen off (it was windy and chilly in Osaka at the end of last week), but was pleasantly surprised to see that Korea has a lot of 'late bloomers' around right now.

Alas, I can't really enjoy the Korean late blooms because the thick Yellow Dust (annual affliction due to de-forestation in China's Gobi Desert) makes going out unpleasant right now.
on Apr 25, 2006
the thick Yellow Dust (annual affliction due to de-forestation in China's Gobi Desert)

We're getting that here, too. Not so badly, but enough that it was on the news. Must be worse over there before it crosses the Japan Sea. Ick. I can't imagine.

I hope you got a chance to go to Kyoto and Kobe if you were in Osaka. I used to live in Osaka near Kyobashi station which is within walking distance to Osaka castle. On the whole, MUCH preferred Kyoto (except for transit) and Kobe.
on Apr 29, 2006
btw, I was stationed in Yokosuka for the Armistice.
on May 01, 2006
I was stationed in Yokosuka for the Armistice.

Neat! Were you also one of those wild and crazy boys cutting it up in Roppongi?

I'm assuming American Occupied Japan? Hmmm.... that would have been an interesting time to be here. Did you get to do a lot of travelling or did you have to stay near base?
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