Nothing. No photos, no stories, no films could have prepared me for the profound beauty and stirring delicacy that experiencing sakura(cherry blossoms)season in Japan would impart upon my heart.
The arrival of cherry blossoms is something deeply interwoven into Japanese hearts and tradition. And for ten London Springtimes, I’ve listened to Hiro praise sakura and reminisce of the ethereal beauty of the blossoms. So when he said that we were “going to chase sakura till we find them in Japan”. I was so excited but also worried that the fleeting flowers would escape before we arrived. For weeks before our arrival in Japan, we watched the Sakura predictions with anxious apprehension. We watched the sakura maps dwindle as we saw reports that the blooms had left Kyoto, left Tokyo and so our chances of seeing them grew ever slimmer.
Then came the time that we travelled into the Japanese countryside. Rushing from bullet-train to tiny town and then to the middle of nowhere, taking each step with our fingers crossed. We eventually made it to Akayu a small town in Yamagata and our hearts soared when we approached the station and saw hundreds of cherry blossom trees crowning the hilltop.
I had no idea that there were so many varieties of sakura. Some that flower pink, others more white. Some that drape and others that exude a most exquisite intoxicating fragrance. But it is not just about the flowers. It’s the way that people celebrate them, families, couples, solitary watchers. They all look upwards with that same thoughtful gaze. Nothing could have faltered our smiles. Not only had we arrived on time to see the blossoms but we had arrived at the peak of the blooms. After this time, the blossoms would be spirited away by the prevailing winds.
I hope you like cherry blossoms as much as we do as we shall be uploading some more unique perspectives soon.
Wishing you all wonderful weekends.