The cherry blossoms (sakura) in Japan are renowned for their stunning beauty, but they also have a deeper meaning for the Japanese. The short-lived blooms are a metaphor for the fleeting nature of life, the transient nature of existence. They are also a symbol for spring and new beginnings.
Sakura season, though a brief couple of weeks, is highly anticipated - everything becomes about these tiny pink and white flowers. Looking at them, taking pictures of them, sakura flavored food and drink, special limited edition sakura packaging. People plan everything from a short stroll to hours long, food filled and alcohol drenched picnics, called hanami, under the flowering branches.
The middle of last week was the height of the sakura blossoming in our area, but unfortunately neither the weather nor Graham's job allowed for any boozy daytime picnics. Refusing to let that stop us, we planned a post-work trip to Shomyoji Temple. We knew we would be racing sunset, but luckily it is just as beautiful after dark as during the day.
To be honest, I wish the sky had not been overcast when we got there, but beggars can't be choosers when it comes to the weather here and I was just glad it wasn't raining. We both enjoyed strolling around the pond, over the red bridge, stopping to spot herons, ducks, kingfishers, turtles, and koi. Later, the glow of the lanterns made up for the lack of sunshine.
Even though sakura season is quickly coming to a close, I definitely have plans to visit Shomyoji Temple and it's gorgeous park again.
For those in the area, it's easy to find. Take the Keikyu Line to the Kanazawa-Bunko stop. Take the East exit and from there follow the green pavement. It's about a 10-15 minute walk.