Today I and a couple of friends went down to Nakano to have a peek at the flowers blossoming. If you have been living under a rock, spring season is at its peak and the sakura season is well underway.
The Japanese have a tendency to spam sakura trees as much as is reasonably possible. This is so that during the sakura season, the city is lined with as much white and pink hue as possible, giving tourists something to talk about.
Sakura trees tend to grow wide, causing their branches to become very long and start dipping into the bushes occasionally. Here Kagami takes advantage of this characteristic and gets on the bushes that have flowers mixed in with them.
Our walks take us through some fairly scenic paths with lots of Sakura trees and lakes. Here Kagami is actually sitting above some water. Something I am clearly not happy about.
Since the sakura season is extremely short, most people rush to the parks to book spots and have parties under the trees during the weekends, causing them to be extremely packed with people. Here is a nice sakura matsuri which has a lot of people in Arai Park.
Near Arai Park there's a little shrine where this cow can be found. Its called a Nade Ushi, meaning a-cow-whose-head-you-are-supposed-to-pet. Of course, Kagami's hands are too small, so I got her to sit on it instead.
The sakura season also holds special significance for children in Japan. It is during this time the schools begin their school year and hold School Entrance Ceremonies. This is also the time when school ends for those who are graduating.
Not only are eyes and schools affected by this season of rampant blossoming, most Japanese companies have a tradition of hiring during graduation periods, meaning most people around this time of year are either in the process of being selected as new employees, or are currently attending induction courses and New Employee Ceremonies.
Here we take a rest near what proves to be a very scenic level crossing.
Much of these scenes are reminiscent of Makoto Shinkai's movies. He is famous for his scenery porn and his powerful use of graphics to stir emotion and box office sales.
This is the river that passes through Egota park further down Nakano Street. On the other side of the trees is a manic infestation of 3D nf people whose sole purpose in life is apparently to party under falling white flower petals.
Here is Kagami again looking pretty as ever sitting next to the flowers.
Also, near the bell tower of one of the shrines, my companion, who brought his wife along with him also decided to shoot some pictures. Here is a little collaboration picture to celebrate the beginning of a new year.
Not all trees are created equal. Some blossom extremely early during the season and some are so late they still haven't gotten around to opening their buds yet.
Here is Kagami sitting on a very unique no-parking traffic cone. Japanese traffic cones are very cool and they usually fit their purpose very well too.
As the evening falls, the flowers take on a very martian hue, giving the trees a more powerful feel.
Besides an excuse to party, the Japanese also view the Sakura Season in a very sentimental light. The fleeting blossoms remind them of how short life is. To them it is the equivalent of the Roman expression 'carpe diem'. The leaves of the trees start to shadow the pristine white glow within a week of when the blooming happens.
To them it is also a reminder to not spare any effort in becoming as beautiful as they can possibly be before their leaves start sprouting, for it is at this time everyone is looking at the trees.
That said, Kagami is always pretty so there isn't much to worry about here.
As the sun sets we make way back to grab some grub and enjoy looking at the photos we just took.