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.