Monday, April 20, 2009

Cherry blossoms

I've said before that I found a certain loneliness in Japan. And I feel for the place because I feel the same loneliness many times. Today, I'm seeing pictures of cherry blossom in Japan, in most places, the trees are now mostly green, the blossoms mostly on the ground already, the crowd thinning out. I used to think that the best time to visit Japan is during the height of the cherry blossom season. But now, I think otherwise. Perhaps the best time to visit Japan is really the end of the season. When the leaves turn green, when the wind blows pink and white petals hither thither and the ground is littered with trampled blossoms and the parks return to their quiet, crowdless state.

Cherry blossoms last only about a week or so on the branch. For the Japanese, the coming of the cherry blossom signals re-birth, fresh beginnings. And the very fleeting nature of the cherry blossoms signify the fleeting nature of life itself. There is a certain poignancy to this. So when the petals fall, perhaps that would be the best time to really savour the meaning of cherry blossoms.

I've always said Japan is a place I'd like to travel alone to. One day, when the kids are older (or is that only an excuse?) I'll take myself off to Japan and I'll be sure to go at the tail end of the cherry blossom season.


Anonymous said...

I know what you mean. I feel like going back to Kyoto one day, alone, not during a peak season like autumn or cherry blossom, and just wander the streets and the temples. I'd love to get lost there a little bit.

Momto5 said...

I think now that even going during tsuyu would be lovely. Japan seen through a sheen of rain. There is a certain poignant beauty about that.