Wednesday, April 5, 2017

So begins the sakura season in Japan 2017

It's sakura season!  It's sakura season!  It's also tax season, but's sakura season!!!

We made our way to Miurakaigon Station in the middle of February for a peek at the early blooming sakura blossoms.  And, they did not disappoint!  Once at the station, it wasn't hard to figure out which way to go...follow the trees and the lanterns and the smells of fresh grilling food.  I don't remember the stalls being set up here the last time we visited this area for cherry blossoms.  I do, however, remember that I had a hard time figuring out which way to go once out of the station.  This time we just followed the people!

We walked around for a bit just looking at the food for sale...nothing my kids would eat.  Also, there were several cherry trees right at the station that made for really great pictures. 

Booths around Miurakaigon Station
As we set out on our trip today I mentioned that I wanted to fulfill a task on a photography challenge I've been invited to learn picture-taking through....Garytt was all about it!  The challenge today was 10 shots...take ten shots of one subject...I'm not sure if it actually fulfilled the challenge, but he decided I needed to take pictures of cherry blossoms from every angle and through every stage of development.  Creative Boy!  Also, helpful Boy, since he took my camera every three minutes to take another picture.  

Most pictures don't need an explanation, so enjoy!

My favorite picture of the day

What's left after the petals fall off

Blossoms in the city

After taking pictures near the station, we made our way down this small street, just hoping we were going the right way, because...well, I like to take 'detours'.  The kids don't usually like said 'detours'.

Sigh of relief....I went the right way!  Sakura as far as the eye could see!

We made our way up a set of stairs and then passed by a sign with a poor little doggy chained to it, I'm assuming the guardian was snapping pictures close by, and then on a side road by a little restaurant where we found a nice shot of Mt Fuji!  There were clouds all around the top, so the peak was visible one minute and then not the next.  

I'm not sure what these yellow flowers are, but they make a nice contrast to the pink lovelies above.

Wow....Boy needed a haircut!

After snapping a LOT of pictures under the trees we found a crosswalk that looked like it led to a path for us to walk up.  Let's check it out kids.... Kids:  grrooooaaaannnnnnnn

Even the crossing guards get in on the cherry blossom season....they were all in pink jackets.

Ooohh...a map!  We are at the tip of the red arrow and it looks like if we walk up this gray path we can see some more cherry blossoms!  Let's go! (side note:  Once we're done walking the gray path, we will make our way back to where we came from and then across the road to the yellow path that leads back to the pond.)

I'm not quite sure we were allowed to be up on that gray path...most of it was a road, but there was a section that veered off into the trees and then opened up into a huge field.  We were the only ones up there, even though there were hundreds of people walking on the road we just left.  Who one told us we couldn't be there, so we took a bunch of pictures of Mt. Fuji and then made our way back down to the road.

Once we were off the side road, we continued around until we came to a bridge.  There were several gigantic cameras set up on this bridge, all trying to get the perfect shot of the train and the trees.  My kids weren't interested in sitting there while I set up for the perfect shot, so I took a quick one and we set off again.  Back the way we came.  Garytt saw the pond on the map and that's where he wanted to go.  Mackenzie, on the other hand was ready to go home.  Usually, it's the other way around.  Well, I wanted to see the pond too, so that's where we went.  Garytt decided that I only had 7 of my ten shots challenge, so he was determined to get the remaining three shots for the day.

Boy:  Look, Mom!  A baby flower bud...that's eight shots!

Hanami under the sakura.  

Okay, so we were across the road and walking down the path toward the pond.  Garytt is on the lookout for turtles and frogs, because that's what the sign said.  Mackenzie was trailing behind me whimpering and whining.

Once at the pond Mackenzie forgot that she wanted to go home, and she started pointing out all the animals she saw.  Cranes, ducks, fish, frogs, turtles...

The pink trees reflecting off the water made it look pink.

After walking around and looking at the trees here, it was starting to get chilly around 3 in the afternoon.  So, we started to make our way back to the station and then home.  But, a few more pictures before we go..

There were so many people!  
It was hard for me to get a shot of how the trees arched over the sidewalk.

Much to my surprise, the kids allowed me about five minutes to try and get a picture of this bird in the trees.  It was work!  Boy tried to help by directing me to different spots.  I wasn't sure I had a good picture, but this one turned out okay.