Perhaps one of the things I most looked forward to during my time in Japan, and one of the reasons I was most glad the semester ran during the time it did was to be able to see first-hand one of the most beautiful times in the Japan countryside… Sakura Blossom season! A time when the sakura trees bloom into beautiful flowers of white and pink, and litter across the landscape! One of the unique things about the blossom season is that it can be rather short… it can be as short as 5 or 6 days, or can go as long as a month, depending upon the weather when the blossoms bloom.
It was the day after my birthday, and some of our Japanese mentors that lived in Proxy decided it was a good idea to gather up many of the study abroad students and give us a chance to experience the sakura blossoms firsthand with a picnic at a scenic area nearby. The location ended up being a short 20 minute walk away, beside a little waterway that was lined with sakura trees on either side. This would also provide us the opportunity to meet many of the other study abroad students that we might not have had the opportunity to meet yet. There were students from the US, China, Australia, France, Germany… from all over the world.
Even before we fully got the place, we could see cherry blossoms around the area, though they are apparently planted near waterways more often, at least where we were located. I took a couple photos of some trees we got to walk under as we approached the area we would have our little picnic. Essentially, we laid down a tarp, and everyone sat down and conversed. Some people had brought stuff from a local store, while others went to a nearby event to buy some hot food off of vendors… the event was almost something like a local festival, with some people dancing for watchers as they enjoyed the food.
We hung out and conversed with the other students until it started to get dark, at which point we decided to head back to Proxy. But along the way, I experimented a little with my camera, to see whether I could take a decent pic at night or not… I kind of liked the look of one or two of the pictures. But overall, it was a rather relaxing day, getting to see something that I had wanted to see forever, as well as get to have time to sit down and converse with other study abroad students in a relaxed, friendly environment. I also got to try some different types of foods, though this might be the only entry in which I neglected to take pictures of them… perhaps a sign of just how interested in the scenery and conversation I was!