2006/04/03

Sakuramatsuri - Blossoms Galore

The cherry blossom in Kashima City have finally opened - big time!. A few days ago there were a few open blossoms, maybe 10%, and then yesterday - a clear warm day - they came forth like expolding popcorn. We went to Kashima City's Shiroyama Park, ancient site of a castle and now the place to go in Kashima for sakurami or "blossom viewing". The park is lighted at night and you can hear koto music softly playing. People picnic and party there day and night under the boughs thick with cherry blossoms. Unlike the ume (apricot), they don't last long before blowing away like snow flakes, but while here their beauty brings millions of people joy and inspires artists to paint, compose music, or write poetry.

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So pour yourself a cup of tea, click above for some music, and enjoy the cherry blossoms.


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click to enlarge the following pictures


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20 comments:

PinkPanther said...

Wow..wow...Beautiful Cherry Blossoms and lovely music. What might if PandaB plays his Bariton Horn in the cherry blossom garden, that would be more wonderful.

Pandabonium said...

Well, pinkpanther, that would be one way to empty the park and have it all to myself!

YD said...

You won't have it all to yourself, panda! I will survive your baritone for the sake of the blossoms! hehe..

Beautiful sea of pink! speaking of pink... :-) happysurfer, we're waiting for you.

now i sudden have an urge for candy floss...

Don Snabulus said...

Both the blossoms and the poem were a sight to behold. We have blossoms everywhere here as well. Spring is good.

Happysurfer said...

Hi YD, everybody! Are we having a picnic under the cherry blossoms? Wow! I'd love to just lie down in the shade fanned by a gentle breeze and while away the hours under all that lovely pink and white blossoms and the clear blue sky. Just wake me up when it's time to leave. ;)

Pandabonium, awesome pictures and nice music! Thank you.

Pandabonium said...

Thanks guys. We're all having a cyber picnic under the sakura. I just hope moody shows up - he's got the Yebisu beer. :P

As Hall said,
"life, to one born whole, is worth the living, well worth the taking, having, and the giving."

Enjoy.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Thank you for the music! Peaceful, and helps to let go some of the dross going on in the rest of our lives!
I've just returned from leading a group of women in a devotional session on 'preparations for the journey' using a Psalm as a premis and a photograph of an ancient tree - though I can't say much new to some lovely women who are nearly all older and wiser than me!
W.

Pandabonium said...

Peceli and Wendy's blog - thank you. Glad you enjoyed the music and flowers. Sounds like an intersting session. By "journey" I assume you mean the big one we all take. Must be enriching to be with those "older and wiser" women. Older people are such a treasure.

Lrong said...

Ah ha... now is that the man I have been waiting to see?

agus said...

Wow! What an atmosphere! Pinkish white. Very tingling.

Do you happen to have close ups?

Pandabonium said...

lrong, yep, out of the panda suit. ;)

agus, it was a windy day and the branches were waving all over the place, so no close up. If you click on the third pic
it gets pretty close to a bough of the flowers. I'll see if I can do something with the original and post it.
Glad you like them.

Robin said...

Panda, thanks for sharing this wonderful experience.

You know, I have always love the Hanami festival in Japan. I tried for 4 years to go back during the same season for this beauty. There are the single rings and double rings, as well as the variety in colours.

What a wonderful world

Pandabonium said...

Robin, two years ago we went to Kyoto - my home was still in Hawaii - and tried to time it for the sakura, but they didn't open until the last day or two we were there. Luckily, our next stop was Nagoya and the trees were in full bloom there.

Wonderful world, yes, but for this tropical panda it is also reward for suffering a cold winter. :-)

Robin said...

Kyoto palace has the best sakura gardens..

One of my annual pilgrim.. hehe.

The Kyoto Palace Inn is very reasonable and convenient too.

Pandabonium said...

Robin - The Kyoto Palace does have nice cherry trees - and others. I'd hesitate to name a given garden as best, there are so many awesome displays of sakura around Japan. Nagoya Castle has walls and moats lined with them. One of the two places we stayed in Kyoto was Palace Side hotel. Low priced but nice hotel right across the street from the palace grounds. Our room even had a view of Mt. Hiei.

Happysurfer said...

Pandabonium, please advise as to the 'best' time to be there to witness this awesome spectacle. Is there a date per se or somewhere close? Thanks in advance.

Robin, your annual pilgrimage would be like right about now?

Pandabonium said...

Happysurfer - it is a bit tricky to forecast, and each year the Japan Meteorological Agency competes with a private firm, Weathernews Inc., to provide the most accurate "guess". You can find the information on the web.

As temperatures vary in Japan, the blossoms open at different times. Big cities first as they are warmest, and generally starting in the south-west and opening later as you move northeast. When I visited Japan for a month in April 1987 I planned my trip so that it followed the sakura, and I lucked out with the timing.

Personally, I don't much like the JMA map, so recommend instead this site:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2011.html
Which gives opening and best viewing date ranges.

Happysurfer said...

Pandabonium, I guess it is rather difficult to forecast. All the same, thank you for the information.

Sujatin said...

Thank you - so beautiful - and the combination with the music is perfect
Namo Amida Bu

Pandabonium said...

Sujatin Sensei,

You are most welcome. Thank you for visiting. I am delighted that you found my blog and happy you enjoyed the sakura.

How interesting to know that there is a Pureland Sanga in Newcastle upon Tyne. Before moving to Japan, I was a member of the Hawaii Hongwanji for 15 years.

Namo Amida Butsu