Friday, April 10, 2015

Japanese Cherry Blossoms

Japanese people love cherry blossoms.  I mean they really really really go crazy in cherry blossom season.  There are tons of cherry trees all over Japan and my little corner of the country is no exception.

The first couple of blooms I saw were along my walking route.  There is a canal that has some trees along the side of it that happen to be cherry trees.  There are also a couple out side of a tiny shrine along the canal.

I love this picture.  Mostly because it reminds me that blue skys do actually happen....

The shrine behind the barely blooming cherry blossoms.
As you can see, they are just starting to blossom at this point.  I took the photos with my phone but it was a beautiful day and I think they turned out pretty good.

I went to our local park and took some pictures of the trees a couple days later once the trees were in full bloom.  It was a Thursday evening but the park was full of people enjoying the trees.  I wandered around for a while taking pictures and then decided to just flop down under the trees and look up through the blossoms.  It was really lovely.  The ground was soft and mossy.  I learned when I finally got up that the reason why everyone else had a little tarp is that Japanese moss is like Velcro and is impossible to get off of clothing, oops.

Cherry trees along the pond in the park

Laying on my back looking up through the blossoms

I just liked this one with the trees in the background
Over the weekend Jeff and I had a couple options to go on a hanami.  This is when you take a tarp and spread it out under or near a cherry tree and have a picnic and enjoy the blossoms and maybe even watch the petals slowly drift in the wind.  This is "the thing" to do in Japan in cherry blossom season.  We decided to do our own personal picnic.  I also asked Jeff to take a couple of prego pictures of me.  (I did this for you Courtney - you said I needed to take bump pictures for my baby book.  Jeff's cousin had some lovely bump pics that she posted a couple weeks ago so I figured I should get a couple where I actually feel pretty.)  There was a convenient tree to prop the camera so we set the timer and got a couple with Jeff too.  Below are my favorites.

After the photo shoot we set up our own little tarp and had a little picnic.  We enjoyed the warm weather (it was the warmest day since early fall and felt lovely!), cherry blossoms and people watching.  Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day.

I love the contrasting colors of the cherry blossoms

Had to put in just one more pink on pink blossom picture

Such a huge proliferation of blossoms!

This was back down in the more crowded area of the park.  You can see there are a lot of people enjoying the day.  This is a small park in a small town.  Some of the more popular spots near the cities get insanely crowded.

The hills through the trees.

I liked this one because it showed the canopy of trees and people out enjoying them.
Monday was a miserable day of heavy rain.  I decided to make one last try to see the cherry blossoms on Tuesday.  I thought I'd check one of the more popular viewing places , the bridge at Iwakuni, since it wasn't a weekend and I was hoping I wouldn't have too hard of a time finding a nice place to sit.  Unfortunately, the rain did a number on the cherry blossoms.  This meant that there wasn't that many people but it also meant that there were way more petals on the ground than on the trees.  I still managed to get a couple of pretty shots and had a nice day.

Petals cover the ground, in places it almost looks like snow.

An avenue of cherry trees along the river with lanterns strung up between them.

The bridge through the trees.  You can see the lack of pale pink petals on the branches.
Yes, I'm having fun with my new camera and being able to adjust focal lengths.

The bridge peaking out from the tree.

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