Tour Report on 7 April 2018, East Garden of the Imperial Palace
- East Gardens of the Imperial Palace
Many thanks to the guests joining the tour. On that day we welcomed 38 people from USA, Israel, Australia, Nederland, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Vietnam, Russia, Spain and France. We divided into 5 groups. The weather was cloudy and windy.
From last week of last month, the most prominent cherry blossom tree called “Someiyoshino” started to come out and this week the trees were ending the blossoming.
But instead some other species of cherry trees came out along with other spring flowers such as azaleas in the garden.
The period of Someiyoshino blossoming is almost the same nationwide except Southernmost island prefecture Okinawa and Northern regions such as Tohoku and Hokkaido.
During the period, I traveled to Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
In Nagasaki, a port city of Kyushu Island (Southernmost among main 4 Japan islands), cherry trees blossom just next to the monument in memorial of 26 Christians who were executed at the site during the feudal period when Japan banned Christianity. It seemed cherry blossoms comforted the souls of the Christians. If you want to know history related to the Christians, please watch the film “Silence.”
Then in Hiroshima, cherry blossoms bloomed at the Hiroshima castle, recreation of the feudal lord castle after the war and the riverside that connects from the castle to the A-bomb dome and the Peace Memorial Park, where the tomb for the victims on which the message “Please rest in peace and this will never happen again” is inscribed and the Museum that exhibit records and evidence of what happened in August 1945 are located.
The dome is designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cherry blossoms and the dome might not match with each other. But because of beauty of the trees in addition to significance of the facilities, majority of the visitors were foreigners. It seemed cherry trees contributed to the world peace.
So from south of main four island chain to Tokyo region, the Someiyoshino blossom and fall down in the same period. It is because the flowers are clones of the same specie. But there are many other cherry blossom species. Some blossom earlier and some do later.
In this week, in Kyoto, Omuro-Zakura was in full-bloom at Ninaji Buddhist Temple. They blossom after Someiyoshino season ended. The feature of the trees are short-height. In Kyoto beautiful women of short-height are called the same name “Omuro no Sakura. (Cherry trees in Omuro)” If you miss Someiyoshino, you should visit there to enjoy these short height cherry trees instead.
Cherry blossoms are not only for viewing but also used for other methods so that you can enjoy this even after blooming of the flowers ended. Cherry blossom flavor is used for ice cream. The color of ice cream is pink-white and it tastes sweet like the flower.
Not just for eating but clothing, it can be dyed of the flower color by soaking with the tree essence.
You view, eat and wear cherry blossoms. The beauty of the flowers are penetrated into various parts of Japanese life.