This year, with COVID-19 a lot of events, festivals, and activities have all been cancelled. Many people can’t travel, and a lot of us are feeling pretty stuck. I haven’t written much since the beginning of the pandemic so I am going to try to catch up. Starting with the cherry blossoms.
This year the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival was cancelled, and the castle park was subsequently closed to prevent people from traveling to Hirosaki. However, the castle park is surrounded by a moat which is also surrounded by cherry blossoms. Even though the closure prevented many people from traveling to Hirosaki, the blossoms still attracted quite a large crowd. I think Hirosaki was really fortunate to avoid any COVID cases at this time, but it was pretty risky looking back at it.
I want to start by saying that before coming to Japan, I really felt that the cherry blossom hype was really overrated. I lived in Virginia for most of my life, so I would often travel to Washington D.C. for The National Cherry Blossom Festival. Maybe I was just used to cherry blossoms, and I wasn’t expecting it to be any more or any less glamorous.
Well, I am here to tell you that I could not have been more wrong and the cherry blossoms in Japan are definitely worth all the hype they receive. They are honestly breathtaking. They bloom in so many different places that they paint the entire world pink, especially when the sun is setting and the light hits the trees just right.
Unfortunately my pictures don’t really do them justice.
I was really sad about not getting to see the inside of the castle park, but I consider myself lucky just being able to see the trees that surround it. The blossoms were truly stunning, pink as far as the eye could see, and the most incredible thing is that as the blossoms die, the petals drift through the air, eventually finding themselves floating on the water, dying the moat pink.
Cherry blossoms leave just as quickly as they come. So when you get the chance to see them you really should take the time to appreciate their ephemeral beauty. Hopefully next year I will be able to see the blossoms inside the park and have my breath taken away once again.
The nice thing about Japan is cherry blossoms are everywhere so you can enjoy them outside of touristy spots too. Here are some photos from a shrine near my apartment~