To take a break and be a bit more rural in my blossom spotting after my last two ventures into Tokyo, I decided to explore the area around Nikkō a bit more.
On the recommendation of the tourist information office, I pottered off on the train to Tochigi, a small-ish town on the line between Nikkō and Tokyo. There were a few trees to spot, including some in and around the shrine area in a gorgeous little garden.
The most exciting thing about Tochigi though was the fish! The river is full of large, dark carp and above one stretch of it are strung hundreds of multi-coloured fish windsocks/flags. The effect is really arresting and was a really lovely thing to come across.
I also went on a little mission on the bus and train to Mashiko, a town home to a pottery museum and more shops selling wabi sabi/rustic folk style pottery than you could possibly imagine. There were a few cherry trees around and on the way, and quite a few of the pottery pieces featured gorgeous sakura flowers or petals designs.
Having recharged my batteries a bit, I headed back to Tokyo for more of the big parks and the more spectacular cherry blossom sites.
This turned into one of the most incredible days of the trip (and quite possibly my life…) and I really can’t find enough words to express how completely beautiful it all was…. so many trees! Petals everywhere…
I started at the Imperial Palace gardens, which had quite a few trees and some lovely wide open spaces for playing and pic nics. It was pretty quiet and felt very relaxed.
I then walked through another park to the super busy Chiyoda area, where there are hundreds of trees along the river and a huge festival on the way to the Yasukuni Shrine, where there was also a grove of cherry trees. The petals were just starting to fall, and the river in some areas was a sea of pink, as people rowed under the trees…
To wrap up the day, I then went to Roppongi to see the Midtown Blossom. This very slick and modern area was transformed into a magical sight as evening fell and the blossoming trees were each individually illuminated with pink light….
I was so excited on the train into Tokyo in the morning my inner labrador dog was very much in action! And after such a stunningly wonderful day I was in something of a post cherry blossom glow on the way back… The day exceeded my dreams.
I keep trying to find ways to explain or capture how the blossom looked (and failing miserably) but that day they made me think of soft pink explosions…
Tags: adventure, cherry blossom japan 2015, dreams, exploring, fish, illustration, japan, mashiko, photography, sakura, spring, Tochigi, tokyo, travel, wabi sabi, wanderlust