Upsizing the Fridge
Well with the weather warming up, it has now got to the stage where we can no longer rely on just keeping things in the cupboard to keep them fresh. So we figured it was about time we upgraded our fridge. The fridge on the left was the one we got for free when we arrived in November. Basically a bar fridge, plus a small freezer. The fridge on the right is our new Sanyo fridge which is actually better than the one we had in Australia. Plus we also bought an Air-conditioner for the bedroom. The other bonus was they took away our old fridge for free (some times you have to pay 3000yen for that here). Plus the guy who installed the air-conditioner told us he lives up on the cold mountain so we were able to give him 2 of our gas heaters (we had three given to us when we arrived, but only one gas point. This also saved us money not having to pay to get rid of the heaters we didn't use), now with two (there was already one in the living room) reverse cycle air-conditioners and a new fridge we should be right for summer. Add those two air-conditioners and our gas heater and next winter should be much better.
A friend recommended to us to go Daigohigashiojicho in Fushimi-ku to view the Sakura there. We thought that the Sakura there would peak a little later than in Nagaokakyo given it's a little bit higher altitude there. However when we got there the Somei-Yoshino while still in bloom already had a lot of leaves coming out on them, however the Shidarezakura (or Weeping Cherry Tree) was at it's peak and I managed to catch the last rays of Sunlight falling on them. Well this is the last of my Sakura images for the “Mission Japan” PBLOG for this year (but I got heaps of images that I may post to other galleries in the near future). The weather begins to warm up and the Sakura have gone, but my friends tell me there are plenty of more floral delights awaiting in the months to come...
The Peak of Spring
Japan is a place where I really see “that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;” (Psalm 1:3b KJV) happening all of the time in nature. Every couple of weeks there seems to be something new in blossom or a new kind of fruit or vegetable to eat. Life here seems to be so much revolved around the seasons. In Perth, Australia although there were seasons and also different flowers, people seemed to take less notice of them. I think especially in the food where a lot of fruits and vegetables were available all year round probably due to them being placed in deep freeze or some other technique of keeping them fresh! So it's good here to find a fruits and veggies are always naturally fresh you just have to adjust to what kind of things are available at certain times of the year.
Sakura Light Up
As the Sakura at Nagaoka Tenmangu Shrine approached their peak, the local city council lit them up in the evenings. Actually lighting up the Sakura trees is pretty common all over Japan especially in famous Parks, Shrines, Temples or Castles. People gather for parties under the Sakura know as “Hanami” (or cherry blossom viewing). In some of the more crowed cities (not Nagaokakyo), some companies send one of their junior employees to save a spot for the company party from early on in the day. It was also a chance to see a lot other photographers out in force to capture the light up!
The big one we had all been waiting for finally arrived! That is the blossoming of the Somei Yoshino cherry trees. These are most common Sakura (cherry blossoms) in Japan, although outside of Japan they seem to be rarer than others. When these trees blossom, everyone gets in a party mood because it means that winter is finally over. These particular trees in this photo blossomed a couple of days earlier than most in the area, due to the fact that they were near to buildings and surrounded by concrete which makes the air around them just a little warmer. Look forward to a couple of more PBLOG entries related to Sakura in the near future.