S is for Sakura


S is for Sakura for this installment of the A to Z ChallengeSakura 桜 is the Japanese word for cherry blossom, the light pink flower that blooms for only a few weeks a year in the spring before falling to the ground in a flurry of blossoms. Cherry blossoms have fallen for the most part in mainland Japan, although Hokkaido is still due to be in full bloom next week. So I thought I would post about these beautiful flowers.

Sakura at Shiroyama

Sakura (cherry blossoms) in Yamanashi Prefecture – photo by kei

Japan has a whole flower-viewing culture 花見 based around cherry blossoms. When spring hits, sakura themed food, drink, and cute characters bloom like the flowers they represent. School ends during cherry blossom season, and many graduation songs reference cherry blossoms. School rejection letters have even been known to contain a metaphor that goes something like “the cherry blossoms are falling.” Continue reading

Photo Friday: State of Mind / Shinjuku Sakura


Shinjuku Sakura

Photo Friday Challenge: State of Mind

This week’s photo Friday challenge is actually last week’s photo Friday challenge, “State of Mind.” I’ve been quite busy the past few weeks, so I will post two photo challenges in a row this week!

With spring on its way, I have to think of cherry blossoms, or sakura 桜, because they symbolize spring. Cherry blossoms bloom subsequently from the southern part of Kyushu to the northern part of Hokkaido, and then a few weeks later in a flurry of white-pink blossoms they fall. During that short period of bloom they are truly magnificent.

Also, this Friday is 3/11, which means it has been 5 years since the Tohoku earthquake that rocked Japan. From the destruction from the shaking to the tsunami to the destruction of the nuclear power plant, this was a terrible day for Japan. However, like the cherry blossoms, even though they may fall, they are sure to bloom again strong and magnificent. がんばれ、日本!

This photo was taken in Shinjuku at Shinjuku Park 新宿御苑.