Revised: Summer 2015
in sakura’s house, from start to finish, around twenty days (Bashō)
In early April, 2008 (See "Full Bloom and Festivals"), we drove west along the general route of the Tōkaidō (“Eastern Sea Road”), from Tōkyō to Kyōto, into the oncoming bloom of sakura, which sweeps northeast-ward, beginning in Okinawa as early as January and ending in Hokkaidō in late May. In Otsu, near Kyōto, we turned back to Tōkyō on the route of the Nakasendō ("Central Mountain Road") and found sakura blooming in the mountain city of Matsumoto. The fullest bloom was in Hikone, a castle town on the east shore of Lake Biwa.
Danzakura Avenue to Hachiman Shrine:
Gempei Pond in front of Hachiman Shrine.
Odawara Castle, Kanagawa
Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka
Inozawa River, Shimoda, Early Morning
Izu Road, West Coast, a row of trees beyond field of nanohana (rape-seed flowers):
Sections of the road are planted with sakura:
Hamamatsu Flower Park, Aichi
Yozakura ("Night Sakura")
The park in the daytime:
Tulip fields and sakura:
Ishibutai, Asuka, Nara
Stone tomb of Soga no Umako (551-626), a nobleman who promoted Buddhism and government reforms introduced from China and Korea during the formative years of the nation:
Sakura scattering petals in a gust of wind.
Mii-dera, Otsu, Shiga
Hikone Castle, Shiga
Agematsu, Kiso, Nagano
On the Nakasendō, in the Kiso valley, we stopped at Ono-no-Taki, a waterfall depicted in Hiroshige’s woodblock print of Agematsu, in Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidō. A lone sakura tree offered branches in bloom.
Matsumoto Castle, Nagano
Coda: Ueno Park, Spring 2014
On our 2008 sakura journey, we skipped Ueno park to avoid the traffic and crowds. But in Spring 2014, we happened to be in Tōkyō on the first day of prime bloom in Ueno Park, so we caught train there.
We walked along the Sumida River, where the sakura was also in full bloom: