In the heart of Japan rests the cherry blossom,
That time of year when Japanese search for solace and respite.
For some it is joy,
For others a sad reflection.
Children run with glee,
And teenagers discover who they are.
Adults reflect on its placid beauty,
And the elderly walk down memory lane.
The pink and white petals lace the earth,
And shimmer in the night sky.
Some shape the heart,
And others show us who we are.
Early April comes and goes too quickly,
So foreigners beware when time is near.
Each location has its own treasures,
Something you can hold dear.
1. CHERRY BLOSSOM VIEWING ON KIYAMACHI DORI
I remember the first time I walked down this street laden in cherry blossom (Sakura) petals, the river reflecting the pinks and whites. It struck a chord in my soul and I longed to venture back to this place every time the Sakura bloomed. The street itself is centrally located. Make sure to go there before it’s too late.
2. CHERRY BLOSSOM VIEWING AT KIYOMIZU-DERA
There is something special about cherry blossom viewing at night. The moonlit petals and the natural lighting leave one in a far off place akin to a fairy tale. There are several locations where you can experience this in Kyoto and Kiyomizu-dera so happens to be the main one that I went to. Beware: there may be entrance fees.
3. CHERRY BLOSSOM VIEWING AT HIRANO SHRINE
The petals gracefully fell with each note the harpist played and the plethora of Sakura made for a heavenly ambience. This gem is not so well-known to outsiders as it was something a local informed me about and is popular because the trees bloom late. So if you catch the tail end of the season this might be the place to go.