From Dreaming Spies:
Arima was a village nestled into a fold in the hills. Cherry trees, coming into bloom near the coast, here showed but the smallest touch of pink in the buds.
It was not entirely deliberate, but the trip I took to Japan in 2012 coincided with the height of the cherry blossom season. Weather conditions can shift the blossom of the flowering cherries by a week or more, so it’s hard to plan very far in advance—in Japan, the weather association forecasts when the blossoms will open so people can plan their hanami, or viewing parties, when park lawns are draped border to border with garish blue tarpaulins laden with food, drink, and people in kimonos. With an emphasis on the drink.
The chrysanthemum may represent Japan’s emperor, but the cherry is the country’s defining image: ephemeral, wide spread, and with a beauty that moves the spirit, sakura flowers embody the Buddhist precepts of life.
My upcoming events are here.