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.



Nihon – tadaima: 第 9 日

April 15, 2008

Iwaya Beach, seeing former neighbors for the last time, a beautiful Japanese girl and a Kuru-kuru sushi restaurant

In the morning we went to Iwaya Beach located at the northern shore of the island of Kyushu. It was a very short drive of about five minutes from our friend’s house. We collected some shells and, of course, I went looking for mermaids’ tears and got lucky as well.

Thomas at the beach

Thomas at Iwaya Beach

Special flower

Rare flowers called hamayuu

But there was also a lot of trash as well – too bad.

Speaking of trash – Japan is becoming more and more conscious about pollution. This even applies to discarded cigarette butts with the following poster explaining why NOT to throw them indiscriminately.

cigarette butts

Environmental sign

That morning I asked my brother Thomas to take a few pictures of Sakura Fujita, my friends’ daughter. The older daughter, Momoko, had already left the house that morning to take the train back to Fukuoka to attend university. (Sorry, Momoko, I would have liked to get some photos of you, too!!)

Anyway, both the photographer and the model seemed to enjoy their shooting session so much that a lot of photos were taken.




In the afternoon we went back to my former neighborhood once more to say our final good-byes. Below are some photos taken with my local friends,

Nakasan Itaisan Toshimasan

Nakasan Itaisan Toshimasan

In the early evening we went to a Kuru-kuru sushi restaurant and then spent the rest of the night at home.

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