Thursday, April 2, 2015

Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo

I couldn't believe my luck.  The cherry blossoms in Tokyo opened the day I arrived and peaked on March 30th, the day I left.  I read in the newspaper that they had popped five days earlier than last year.

  When I planned my trip, I knew I might be a tad early but hopefully I would witness a few buds.  Instead I got a full-blown extravaganza.  Delicate pink and white blossoms covered the concrete jungle of Tokyo en masse.
I witnessed entire families and groups of friends picnicking under these beautiful trees.  I had been told before going to Japan that laughing out loud in public is considered impolite, but obviously this is not true during sakura season.  Everyone was drinking champagne or sake.  Eating delicious-looking food out of little white boxes.  Singing.  Laughing.  And clicking away with their cell phones and cameras.

"I don't get it," a fellow American traveler commented.  "They act like they've never seen a cherry blossom before."

I didn't know how to respond to this.  I had just walked all over Akasaka and taken hundreds of pictures of these gnarled trees in bloom.  At one point, I actually had tears streaming down my cheeks.  It was so breathtakingly beautiful and  I was so happy to witness it.  How could you not be ecstatic?  In one short week, all these flowers will be gone.  

To me, the cherry blossoms represent the beauty and joy found in life.  Such moments are often fleeting.  And rare.  When we come upon them, we should celebrate with unbridled passion.  For all too soon, like the cherry blossoms, they are gone.


  1. Lovely pictures. I too am enjoying the local cherry blossoms and always feel a bit sad when they're too quickly lying on the ground. As I get older I know that I appreciate the changes in nature more, the sounds of the birds, the rain, etc....It's a wonderful way to slow time.

  2. Thank you, Joni. Yes, Spring is definitely here. Now back home I am noticing the purple plum trees starting to bloom. It is truly a magical season.

  3. How lovely! The blossoms completely transform everything and instill hope and optimism. I totally understand getting tears in your eyes when looking at the burst of spring flowers. I can't walk past a tulip without gaping at it!