People’s opinions may differ, but to me, the cherry blossoms at Hirano Shrine are just the best. That garden takes you of this world.
I met with a friend for a stroll along the Philosopher’s Walk (哲学の道), a lovely 2km path that follows a small canal in the east of Kyoto. The cherry blossoms were still amazing although they had taken a beating in the night before. It had rained heavily enough that many blossoms had lost some of their petals. As a result, the canal was completely covered in them at some points. As we walked along the path, the wind ripped petals from trees and snowed them on us.
For the past weeks I had been checking the Sakura forecast every day, wanting to make sure that I don’t miss the moment when the cherry blossoms start blooming. Watching the blossoms is a pretty major event here, with viewing (drinking) parties, couples going on dates, and people composing poignant poems about the fleeting beauty of the cherry blossoms in particular and life in general. Then, last weekend on Sunday it finally happened and the flowers woke up. Of course, after weeks of built up expectations I didn’t really get out to enjoy them until yesterday, missing the high-point of this season, Thursday, when the flowers were going strong and the weather was perfect. Yesterday, it was warm but also humid and cloudy. Still, it was lovely to be outside and participate in the old tradition of admiring the cherry blossom.