Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Cherry Blossom Time

It's that time of year again - cherry blossom fever has gripped the nation.
It's actually been a little disappointing this year: the blossoms are fantastic as usual, but the weather in Fukui has been absolutely appalling for the past couple of weeks. We've had nothing but miserable grey, dreary weather - so much of it in fact that I thought I was back in England for a while. I tried to do a bit of "hanami" (cherry blossom viewing) in Maruoka with Flick over the weekend, but it was so cold and wet that we ended up doing most of our viewing from the warmth of the car.
Today though, we've finally got some good weather, so I took the opportunity to sneak out of school and take a few snaps in the afternoon. I love this time of year: the blossoms look amazing and the temperature's perfect (when the sun's shining that is). The idea of a whole cultural phenomenon based around going outside and looking at flowers is just brilliant - you certainly wouldn't get that back home.
Of course, this time of year also brings that dreaded, and oft-repeated question:
"Do you have cherry blossoms where you come from?"
"Yes", I patiently reply, and wait to see the astonished reaction from the questioner, as if the idea that there are cherry trees anywhere other than Japan is the most explosive thing that he/she has ever heard.
Really though, we don't have cherry trees in the UK. I mean, we have cherry trees, but we don't have anything like the selectively-bred and carefully-planted bloom monsters they have in Japan. A road called "Cherry Tree Avenue" in the UK would be lucky to have even one cherry tree, but in Fukui City "Sakura-Dori" has literally hundreds of the things.
Sadly though, the blossoms won't be around for much longer- they've already begun to fall, and by the weekend most of them will be gone. It feels like the viewing season is ending before it's even begun... Damn that rain!


Blogger karen said...

If you want to see a cherry-tree lined Avenue in England go to Stavely Road in Chiswick, West London. For one day in spring there are the most amazing salmon pink blossoms visible on all the trees. Then they fall off and you're walking in slush for about a month. Fabulous. Why we don't make it into a National holiday I have no idea.

5:08 pm  

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