Staff Reports
Sean's Japan Travel Journal
by Sean, staff writer of japan-guide.com

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2012/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto

The cherry blossoms are beautiful, but their ephemerality makes it sad at the same time. Don't we all wish that the cherry blossoms will remain forever? But then again, such is the nature of humans that they'd be taken for granted if they did.

It's another wet morning as I set off for Arashiyama - maybe it's by no coincidence that the name literally means "Storm Mountain". No, that's just me being unhappy that my toes will be wet again; Arashiyama is actually a great spot to view cherry blossoms. I am, however, a little worried that the rain which carried on from last evening might have caused more petals to fall, following the bad weather this past Wednesday.

Later in the day I will also revisit Okazaki Canal, Keage Incline, Philosopher's Path and Maruyama Park, carrying the hope that the majority of the lovely blossoms will still be around to accompany weekend hanami (cherry blossom viewing) party goers.

Arashiyama
April 14, 2012 - Petals starting to fall

Although it was drizzling slightly when I arrived in the morning, the visibility wasn't bad and I was able to catch good views from angles different from my past visit. Two rainy days in the past four days proved too much for some of the cherry blossoms, which have started to shed petals.

With more favorable weather conditions, peak period here could have lasted longer, but it seemed this period would end slightly prematurely this year. Nevertheless, the cherry blossoms were still very pleasant for the moment, and many were enjoying the scenery as I was.

Petals starting to fall
Close up of some blossoms
Observing from above
Pedal boats can be be rented once the rain stops

Okazaki Canal/ Keage Incline
April 14, 2012 - Petals starting to fall

The rain stopped, and traces of the sun's rays filtered through the thick clouds. Then, it started to snow. Spring snow. Pink, fluffy, fluttering spring snow.

I was joined by many others at the trail along Okazaki Canal, gasping at the beauty of the scene of falling cherry blossom petals, onto the path and into the water. It was the first time I was caught in such a dilemma this year: unsure of whether to focus my lens on the blossoms on the trees, or on the falling petals floating gracefully with the wind. The result was a trigger-happy index finger pressing incessantly on the snap button.

Some consider this the most beautiful part of a cherry blossom's life: when their petals start to rain down. Again, behind the beauty of the scene lies a certain sadness within that the season will be over soon; but as the leaves start to replace the flowers, we have been assured that the trees are making no mistake in their year-long process of rejuvenating themselves, and thus we can all look forward to next season after this one expires.

Okazaki Canal
Floating petals
Fallen petals
Tour boat
Keage Incline
State of cherry blossoms
Little girl insists that everybody rides on her imaginary train

Philosopher's Path
April 14, 2012 - Petals starting to fall

As I approached Philosopher's Path, I started to think again. This time I came up with an evil plot: my bag which was left open had gathered quite some cherry blossom petals; I'd stick them to cardboards, laminate them, attach ribbons and sell them as cherry blossom bookmarks on Ebay. Made in Japan.

The sun started to shine and crowds started to appear in hoards. Like the previous two locations, the petals have also begun to fall. Also like the previous two locations, peak probably wouldn't last into Monday, but at least the weekend hanami goers should still be able to enjoy nice views of the cherry blossoms.

Sea of floating petals
Green leaves are the signs of rejuvenation
Artist kindly lets me take a picture of his work

Maruyama Park
April 14, 2012 - Petals starting to fall

Who are the worst singers on planet earth? The crows are. Monotonous. Repetitive. Persistent. In a nutshell: a nuisance. Only the desire to retain my composure among the literally thousands of other visitors kept me from taking my one-man army on a crusade to chase them all away.

It turned out to be a great day and as I write, the thousands are still immersing in the weekend festivities at Maruyama Park. I reckon many will also be present for the night festivities, which will last till 1 late at night.

It's dry again in Kyoto, and so it will stay tomorrow, but please hurry if you want to catch good views of the cherry trees - with soon to fall, falling or fallen petals - here.

Petals falling fast
The lower branches are shedding petals quicky
Festival

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List of Posts:
2014/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hakodate
2014/05/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsumae
2014/04/23 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fujigoko
2014/04/17 - Cherry Blossom Report: Takato
2014/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fujigoko
2014/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2014/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hikone
2014/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/04/05 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsuyama
2014/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2014/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2014/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/03/06 - Shopping around Northern Osaka
2014/01/23 - Nikko in Winter

2013/12/31 - Sean's Travel Highlights 2013
2013/12/06 - Kamakura Report
2013/11/26 - Tokyo Report
2013/11/22 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/21 - Miyajima Report
2013/11/19 - Korankei Report
2013/11/18 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/11 - Sakurayama Report
2013/11/08 - Karuizawa Report
2013/10/29 - Nikko Report
2013/10/18 - Nasu Report
2013/10/17 - Nikko Report
2013/10/14 - Mount Fuji Report
2013/10/10 - Oze Report
2013/09/27 - Alpine Route Report
2013/09/13 - Nakanojo Biennale 2013
2013/08/07 - Exploring Tokyo 2: Around the Tokyo Imperial Palace
2013/05/20 - Tottori Sand Museum 2013
2013/05/07 - Fuji Shibazakura Festival
2013/05/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2013/05/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kakunodate
2013/04/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kitakami
2013/04/23 - Northern Kanto Flower Report
2013/04/17 - Cherry Blossom Report: Takayama
2013/04/12 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsumoto
2013/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2013/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2013/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Gunma
2013/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2013/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/03/31 - Visiting Shodoshima for the Setouchi Triennale 2013
2013/03/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/03/27 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2013/03/26 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nagoya
2013/03/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2013/03/21 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2013/03/12 - Tokyo Early Cherry Blossom Report
2013/02/17 - Tokamachi Snow Festival
2013/02/16 - Zao Snow Monster Report
2013/02/15 - Yokote Kamakura Festival
2013/01/10 - Winter Visit to Manza Onsen
2013/01/02 - Tokyo New Year Report

2012/12/31 - Sean's Travel Highlights 2012
2012/12/11 - Autumn Color Report: Tokyo
2012/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/25 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Takaosan
2012/11/16 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/15 - Autumn Color Report: Shosenkyo
2012/11/07 - Autumn Color Report: Yamadera
2012/11/06 - Autumn Color Report: Naruko
2012/11/05 - Autumn Color Report: Hiraizumi
2012/11/01 - Autumn Color Report: Kuju
2012/10/26 - Autumn Color Report: Minakami
2012/10/24 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2012/10/16 - Autumn Color Report: Norikura
2012/10/12 - Autumn Color Report: Oze
2012/10/09 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2012/10/05 - Autumn Color Report: Route 292
2012/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Kurodake
2012/09/27 - Autumn Color Report: Kogen Onsen
2012/09/26 - Autumn Color Report: Asahidake
2012/09/17 - Exploring Tokyo: Gate Bridge
2012/08/20 - Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2012
2012/06/27 - Hiking at Mount Azuma
2012/06/18 - Legoland Discovery Center opens in Odaiba
2012/06/18 - Hydrangea Flowers in Kamakura
2012/06/04 - Tokyo Skytree
2012/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sapporo
2012/05/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hakodate
2012/05/07 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2012/04/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2012/04/29 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kakunodate
2012/04/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kitakami
2012/04/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hiraizumi
2012/04/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sendai
2012/04/24 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukushima
2012/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2012/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hiroshima
2012/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/07 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2012/04/06 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2012/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2012/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kagoshima
2012/03/22 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2012/03/08 - Plum Blossom Report from Kairakuen, Mito
2012/03/07 - Trip to Iwaki, Fukushima
2012/02/21 - Plum Blossom Report from Tokyo
2012/01/30 - Skiing in Inawashiro, Fukushima
2012/01/27 - Kusatsu Hot Springs