Cherry Blossoms in Japan

This is the time of year, when the cherry blossoms (sakura) are out, I truly miss Japan. This cherry blossom viewing (hanami) usually lasts for about 7 – 10 days in spring and you can follow the course of it, moving south to north, via every weather channel.

My friend Yoshiko from Kitakyushu has just sent me these photos and with her permission, I want to share a bit of this Japanese spring with you.

Before posting this, I went through my journals looking for entries made about hanami during that time. I was hoping to recall some special memories, but I only found one entry.

My husband, three-month old Thomas, and I were in a small park, where a drunk kept yacking at us while taking our photos. Unfortunately, this was the only entry I could find.

Another year, we were all stricken with the stomach flu and the third one was filled with mostly cool and rainy days. You see, memories are sometimes fonder than the actual experiences (when daily life catches ups with us).

On the two occasions, when I revisited Japan in 2008 and 2012, I got to experience hanami in all its glory.

Anyway, these photos below were taken on 20 and 21 March 2013.

Cherry blossoms in Japan

 

Kokura Castle in Kitakyushu

If you happen to read this and would like to tell your most memorable cherry blossom event in Kitakyushu to NHK, you can apply here. Deadline is 28 March and your entry needs to be in Japanese.

 

 

Springtime in Sicily

A passenger, sitting behind me on our flight to Trapani, commented how green the island looked compared to her usual summer visits, when the land is brown and parched.

Vineyards on Sicily

The land is green and lush in April. I heard golfing in Sicily is really good in this season as well.

Narrow streets and tall houses in Trapani

This is one rare front without laundry hanging on the balcony. Wherever we turned we could always see laundry flapping in the wind.

A typical thing to do on a lazy afternoon – watching people passing by in the street. It is very common to see people spending their free time like this.

street dogs

I guess I forgot that there are many more dogs roaming the streets without a master in Southern Europe. At night, after dinner and wine, we would often pass a sleeping dog on the sidewalk.

I have taken a fancy to Sicily, its pace, people, and pleasures.

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