Weekend Views

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Japanese schools overflowing with greenery.

Cherry Blossoms – 4

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Some final flowers of the season.

Cherry Blossoms – 3

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cherry Blossoms

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My town in Okinawa boasts the first cherry blossoms in all of Japan. A few weeks ago the trees draped themselves in these tiny bright pink flowers.

The flowers are very ephemeral, and so have by now almost all faded. But pictures remain. This one was taken on an overcast day. I love how against the light grey sky the flowers, branches, and leaves form an almost geometric pattern.

Hikone-jo Gardens

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An easy day trip from Kyoto is Hikone, most notable for it’s castle. While less grand than Himeji, it is also less crowded. Since Himeji is closed for construction, I’d recommend it as a second choice.

The castle is surrounded by a spiraling double moat, which feeds into the central pond of the beautiful gardens, which are preserved to appear the way they did during the castle’s prime. Perfect for an afternoon stroll.