Sakura Cherry Blossom Season is here!
|The yellow flower is called a rapeseed.|
My children and I took advantage of a day off of school and hopped on the train towards Miurakaigan Station to see the first blooms of the season close to us. Sakura season is a big deal in Japan and they celebrate it with gusto. Even the trains are decorated with sakura blossoms.
I have read that there are over 600 different species of cherry trees that bloom in Japan. On this particular trip, we were heading to look at a unique species called Kawazu-zakura. It is one of the earliest blooming trees in the Tokyo area.
When we exited the train station, we were met with several venders selling sweet treats with sakura blossoms in them. Trees were reaching out of the concrete and stretching towards the sky like an offering to be shared with everyone. Several cameras were perched in people hands eager to peck the best picture of the day.
We meandered down streets and river banks, stopping to take in the beautiful sites and treasure this moment since it may be gone within a week. The Sakura flowers do not last long which is part of the appeal. Depending on the weather and wind, these flowers could only last a few days or a week. So it is important to get out and see them as soon as they buds begin to appear.
As a newbie to Japan, I was curious to know what separated cherry blossom trees from plum trees. They both seem to bloom around the same time.I quickly noticed that the cherry blossoms don't normally have a strong scent and their petals are different. The cherry blossom petal has a little notch carved out of the petal and the blossoms tend to be a shade of pink (but they can be a white color as well).
Plum trees on the other hand are very fragrant. I know the moment we are getting close to a plum tree because the scent travels along on the breeze like someone beckoning me to stop everything and follow the trail. The petals of a plum tree tend to be more rounded with no notches and look like cloud tufts to me.
Pink petals are now beginning to pop up all over the place. My kids grumble now when they see these pink masterpieces because they know mom is going to stop for just one more pictures.
Just one more guys...I'm almost finished...promise!
They patiently pause while my finger bounces off the button. But the trees are not the only time we see Sakura. The Japanese love their cherry blossoms and once the Sakura trees appear, you also see them on advertisements for food. McDonald's has Sakura soda with ice cream and Starbucks has Sakura flavored drinks and special mugs and cups that are limited addition and sell out in hours. There are candies and burgers, teas and body washes...all stamped with the sakura petal.
We are enjoying our Sakura right now and are excited to try all of the yummy goodies while they are available. I am excited to see how many different species of Sakura trees we can find. So far I've only discovered 3 but the season is just beginning in my area. Let the search begin!
Slice of Life Challenge