Monday, April 18, 2011

A Tokyo Tease

Hi all - well, I said that I wouldn't be posting my usual lots of photos, but I couldn't resist posting some at least. Here's a sample of some of the things we did. As you can see from these photos, the theme is Sakura - Cherry Blossoms. Actually, you can also see that there were quite a few people in Ueno Park as well making the most of viewing these short-lived blooms. However, there were relatively few people enjoying hanami parties underneath and the night-illumination had been cancelled. The other thing that was very apparent, there were almost no foreign tourists on this day.

Ueno Kouen (8th April)
This canal is just 1 train stop (and walking distance) from Musashi-Koyama where T-chan's brother lives (and where we stayed during our week or so in Tokyo). It was truly beautiful - and lots of people again.

Fudomae (Near Musashi-Koyama, 10th April)

Returning to Ueno 3days later showed just how short-lived the sakura are... they were well and truly past their peak, and had started falling. Quite a few more tourists today for some reason, and a few more people sitting down for a spot of relaxed cherry blossom watching. 

Ueno Kouen (11th April)

 Asakusa, another favourite was also very busy on the 11th, but few foreign tourists (but still a few - Tokyo certainly hasn't been totally abandoned by us foreigners!). The spirit here was simultaneously more festive (the approach to Senso-ji is full of life), and more respectful within the temple grounds.

Asaskusa, Senso-ji (11th April)

 Even with the uncertainty and sadness that has gripped Japan, the sakura proved to be a popular distraction. I had thought, perhaps hoped, that the sign for spring and re-birth that the cherry blossoms herald may be a breaking of the dam in terms of releasing some of the mourning. Perhaps a month is too early, especially when there was a significant aftershock that occured perhaps an hour after this photo was taken. Not to mention the sudden rain storm that suddenly brought thoughts of radioactive dust to mind (even though airborne radiation has been quite low of late).

Imperial Palace Park, near Yaskuni Jinja (11th April)

I had not thought that Tokyo during the cherry blossom season would be so beautiful, and I feel very lucky to have experienced it with T-chan and her family. To cap it all off, the wedding was a wonderful occassion that was one we couldn't have missed. I might post on that one later however...

These photos are just a quick snapshot of places that we went. Hope they wet the whistle for later posts on my Japanese Ties blog. Eventually.

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