Hanami has come and gone. We all look forward to sakura season with anticipation but it comes and goes so quickly. As I am discovering it is not always so easy to enjoy a flower viewing picnic. You don’t have much time because the blossoms only last about two weeks.
Last weekend the weather was perfect for cherry blossom viewing. From what I’ve seen-once the blossoms go full bloom any day that is not raining is a good day for viewing because if you wait…. you will probably be too late.
We were lucky this year because we were able to take a whole weekend to enjoy them! For the past two years in a row we missed hanami because of the rain. Last year we went on a trip with my husband’s family to Kyoto during peak blossom time. Talk about looking forward with anticipation!
It poured rain the entire time we were there. By the time we got home even the blossoms here were gone. The year before that it just rained and rained. When I saw the blossoms emerging this year I already knew we had to grab the first nice day if we wanted to have hanami.
Saturday we headed to Soeda Park which sits on old castle grounds. The castle has been completely remolded inside and is being used for a restaurant, a gym, small museum and something else but I’m not sure what-maybe some municipal offices.
It is indeed a beautiful area now with some short walking trails that wind around the castle grounds and the ancient pond.
Behind the gazebo is a small hill with a trail that leads up to the huge statue of Fudo Myo-o. He’s a scary looking guy but he is a protector of good people so no worries if you are good.
The trail winds around in the hill for a while and if you follow it to the other side it will lead you to a small shrine that is built on a cliff and hangs out over the small stream and waterfall below.
It is almost impossible for my inlaws to enjoy outings like this now. Mobility is an issue. Because so many of these old places are …well..old…there aren’t many wheelchair friendly paths and such. There might be paths but getting from the car to the venue might be difficult.
At any rate when we thought about it we realized that our home was actually a great place to have a picnic. The back patio has a wonderful view of the cherry blossom trees on our road and down at the park.
So that’s what we did! We bought sushi and karaage (Japanese style fried chicken) and a few other Japanese -type picnic foods and we had a great little picnic! The folks got to sit in comfort! Even the dogs had fun!
Today is Thursday and we woke up to fairly strong winds and pouring rain and the blossoms have been washed away………..
Next up….the garden…getting all “planted” or…why I have less time to blog!