It had been a while since I really went for a walk. Alone. No appointments.
I had "homework" from work, but I thought..."No, I'd rather enjoy spring."
So I did.
The first flowers that welcomed me on this warm day were, of course the tulips.
Red tulips are my favorite, but this year these pink ones have really caught my eye. I peered inside one, not that I thought that I would actually find anything...but there, right there, you can see a cherry blossom petal!
So, I set off to Sakura Shukugawa to see the Sakura. A 10 minute train ride from my home.
I was shocked...
The flowers here were already falling like confetti from the trees.
Sakura blossoms that have lots of baby leaves like this are called "hazakura" (leaf sakura)...
and the word sounds so sad, because it means the end of the cherry blossom season.
But with hazakura you can take a good look at the tree's trunk since the blossoms aren't as prominent as when they are in full bloom.Sakura trees have beautiful branches, I think.
If you look really closely you can see some people enjoying lunch under the cherry trees.
Shukugawa (Shuku River)
夙(shuku) is a kanji character that means 'young' or 'early'...in the middle ages the Shuku were the people in this area of Japan who worked for shrines and more recently for people who crafted things with clay or bamboo.
However, these days it is only used for the city and river name.
The pink petals that have been blown off the trees by the wind, float down the river...This is another type of sakura tree. There are quite a few different kinds of sakura. The one above is Shukugawa Mai Zakura and the one below is called Kanzan.