June 11, 2015

Cherry blossom viewing in Japan, Fukuoka

It was late March and the time of the Sakura finally arrived, something I always have wanted to see but only saw on a photo or in a video. When the cherry blossoms are in bloom, many Japanese people go to parks to picnic and enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms; this is known as Hanami (cherry blossom viewing). For Hanami, I went along with my teacher of the class Japanese and classmates to a park in Fukuoka. My teacher had chosen a park of which she knows there aren’t many people, because it is packed in most other parks. On the way to the park, I saw many Sakura trees in bloom and how the cherry petals were falling when a breeze came. It was really beautiful and made me feel relaxed. But it also made me think that the Sakura only looks best for a few days which also highly depend on the weather.
Sakura blossoms!
In the park we went picnicking and ate lots of Japanese food such as mochi (rice cake) and onigiri with fillings such as salmon, sauces and vegetables. My favorite is the salmon mayo! I really miss eating onigiri now…and what makes it even worse, supermarket in the Netherlands do not sell onigiri. L Anyway, in the park I had to write a Haiku which is a short poem that uses sensory language to capture a feeling or image. It was a bit difficult for me to think of a special situation and write something that does not sound cheesy. Furthermore, we talked about various things and it was a real good time.

The Japanese garden I went to!
The next day I decided to take pictures of the Sakura trees in Fukuoka. In order to find the best places I looked them up on the Internet which provided me a map with all Sakura locations.. All the locations were luckily easy to reach by subway. First I went to Atago Jinja Shrine which is located on a hill. From this hill you can have a great view on Fukuoka and the cherry blossoms; it is my favorite place in Fukuoka. The next place I went to is a large park called Maizuru Park, and it was packed! Under each Sakura tree there were people sitting on a mat and having fun. In the park there was also a Japanese garden. There were well-maintained bushes and trees, but no Sakura trees, still beautiful nonetheless. Furthermore, while walking through the park it occurred to me that Japanese people often have a small dog as a pet, probably because most Japanese people live in houses and apartment with small rooms.




Maizuru Park in the evening, less packed with people!
All in all, it was a beautiful day with beautiful cherry blossoms I will never forget. I took many beautiful photos and walked the whole day. I would love to go to Japan on more time to see the cherry blossoms again. 


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