Category Archives: GREEN

Sakura of the day: Weeping cherry and Someiyoshino in Kichijo-ji, Hon-komagome

Yesterday, while walking around Komagome in Tokyo, I was thinking of visiting Rikugi-en, a famous garden for its huge weeping cherry. I used to live around there and felt a kind of nostalgic. But it was so crowded, so I changed my mind. Instead, I visited the temple nearby called “Kichijo-ji” which was really calm. It’s fun to find some quiet places like this where only locals visit.

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By the way, Komagome is worth visiting for those who love sakura. Someiyoshino, the most representative sakura tree,  originallly comes from this place – In the past, the place around Komagome was called “Somei village” where many gardeners lived.

There is such a cute mailbox in front of North Exit, JR Komagome Station.

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Sakura of the day: Weeping Cherry in Gyokuzo-in, Urawa

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to pass by “Gyokuzo-in” a temple of Shingon Buddhism in Urawa, which is famous for a 100 year-old weeping cherry (shidare-zakura).

It was quite a surprize to find this in the middle of the city.

Gyokuzo-in
2-13-22, Nakacho, Urawaku, Saitama-City
Access: About 5 minute walk from West Exit of JR Urawa Station

Map (link to Google map)

 

Sakura Started Blooming in Tokyo! – My Favorite Sakura Viewing Spots

So finally, sakura started blooming in Tokyo yesterday, following the announcement of Fukuoka on March 19. According to the weather forcast, it seems to last till the end of this month.

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Here are my favorite sakura viewing spots in Tokyo:

Enjoy ohanami 🙂

 

 

2016 Forecasted Sakura Blooming Days as of March 9

Here’s the updated sakura blooming days in Japan according to tenki.jp  as of March 9.
It looks sakura will bloom earlier than the last forecast.

 

Place – Start blooming on / Full bloom on
Tokyo (central) – March 21 / March28
Yokohama – March 23 / April 1
Nagoya – March 22 / April 1
Kyoto – March 25 / April 2
Osaka – March 25/ April 2
Fukuoka – March 22 / April 1
Sendai – April 6 / April 12
Aomori – April 22 / April 27
Sapporo – May 2 / May 6

For those who are worried about missing sakura, read the tips I posted on the previous post 🙂

 

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More Sakura… what kinds are blooming in Tokyo now?

I wrote in the yesterday’s post about forecasted sakura blooming days that some kinds of sakura bloom later than that popular someiyoshino, but there are some kinds blooming before someiyoshino as well.

I took these picutures yesterday (March 3) at Shinjuku Gyoen after an appointment. It’s one of the most recommended places to enjoy a variety of sakura in Tokyo – there are about 65 kinds of sakura. Here are some kinds of sakura you can see right now!

Kanzakura

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Shuzenji-kanzakura

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Bulbul on a shuzenji-kanzakura tree

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Kawazu-zakura

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And now, ume blossoms are in full bloom so don’t miss it!

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2016 Forecasted Sakura Blooming Days as of March 2

Due to the warm weather, the weather forecast says that sakura (cherry blossoms) will bloom a bit earlier this spring.

According to tenki.jp, the forecasted days for the major cities in Japan as of March 2 are as follows.

Place – Start blooming on / Full bloom on
Tokyo (central) – March 23 / March29
Yokohama – March 24 / April 3
Nagoya – March 23 / April 2
Kyoto – March 26 / April 3
Osaka – March 26/ April 3
Fukuoka – March 23 / April 3
Sendai – April 6 / April 12
Aomori – April 22 / April 27
Sapporo – May 2 / May 6

This is just a forecast, so it may change depending on the weather condition. Actually, it is quite hard to predict the exact day and I think this uncertainty is one of the charms of sakura.

For foreign travellers who come to see sakura sometimes might get disapponted if they unfortunately miss it. In that case, there are still some options!

1. Travel north – Sakura start blooming from the south. So if you travel north, they bloom much later. And what is more, there are wonderful sakura viewing places in the north – e.g. Hirosaki, Kitakami and Kakunodate. Again, the forecast is not 100% sure, so when you travel north, keep checking the most updated information on the internet.

2. Look for other kinds of sakura: the most famous and popular sakura is someiyoshino, but there are lots of other kinds like shidare-zakura (weeping cherry) and yae-zakura (double flowering cherry). And some of them bloom after someiyoshino.

3. There are other beautiful Japanese flowers that people have loved from the old time! For instance, Japanese wisteria and azalea… they are truly worth seeing.

Cherry blossoms in Hirosaki, Aomori

Free Bonsai Symposium in Tokyo in February 2016

For those who love bonsai and Japanese traditional cultures, I found an interesting event to share with you – Japan International BONSAI Symposium 2016. It’s free of charge, and will be held on February 11, 2016. What I found the most intriguing is that there will be a Kyogen act, which is a traditional comic and mime play. Simultaneous interpretation service will be provided. Find more details on their website.

Website: Japan International BONSAI Symposium 2016 (English)
http://bonsai-symposium.com/eng/

Shogo Kariyazaki’s Flower Exhibition @ Hyakudan-Kaidan, Meguro Gajoen, Tokyo

Meguro Gajoen is one of the very “Japanese” hotels in Tokyo. Especially, it’s worth visiting their “hyakudan-kaidan” building which consists of the stairway of 100 steps and several rooms built in 1930s, now being designated as one of the Tokyo Metropolitan’s cultural assets. It’s also known as one of the places where Hayao Miyazaki got inspiration for “Spirited Away”.

Usually it’s not open for public but there are two ways to visit: one is to book the special guided tours with meals and the other is to enter during the exhibition. From October 1 to October 25, the unique exhibition is held by one of the most famous Japanese flower artists, Shogo Kariyazaki.

  • Date: October 1 to October 25, 2015
  • Time: 10:00-17:00 (Last entrance: 16:30)
    • *Only on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays, “Twilight Exhibition” is held from 17:00-19:00, which allows photo-shooting without strobes, flashes and tripods.
  • Entrance fee: Adult – 1,000 JPY (Twilight Exhibition – 1,500 JPY) / Students – 500 JPY / Elementary school & under – Free


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I visited this exhibition last night alone. Experiencing the new world of arts is one of the top things to do when I feel I need to charge up myself.

The rooms were so gorgeous and decorative, even dazzling. Mr Kariyazaki’s ‘delicate yet bold’ artworks created an exceptional, dreamlike atmosphere, making the space completely divorced from the ordinary. But at the same time, it seemed that lots of contrary concepts are incorporated into his works – old & new, dark & bright, innocent & matured, natural & artificial, classical & pop…just like the reality with full of contradictions. And there was no hesitation in his expression.

Yes. The reality is not simple at all. That’s why we get lost, and that’s why the life is exciting.

So it was stimulation. For me, it wasn’t something like the pretty, sweet rose tea of his brand sold at the souvenir shop at the venue. Rather, it was like a spicy, colorful, exotic hot pot with lots of different ingredients challenging my tongue and stomach.

I have to admit that I wanted some moments to escape from the reality. But perhaps I need to do the opposite.


Links:
Meguro Gajoen (English)
Shogo Kariyazaki