“Well, finally we could meet”, I spoke to myself while watching the fully bloomed cherry blossoms. Have they just heard my voice? For me, the cherry blossom petals now look more pinkish and vivid. I guess they seem to be flushed. Now I’m in Kyoto to see cherry blossoms. Here is Taizo-in at Myoshinji Temple, famous as the largest Zen temple in Japan. And the “Shidare-zakura (weeping cherries)” in this garden are famous for their beauty. There are a lot of nice places to see cherry blossoms throughout Japan, but this garden’s my favorite. While there are various kinds of cherry blossoms, I think Shidare-zakura is nice for blooming on the drooping branches just like wrapped around the tree. They’re like showers of cherry blossoms and look so beautiful. I stood under the branches, looked up the blooms and mumbled “I’m here to see you”. Then, these lovely blooms shook in the wind like they were smiling.
Actually this is my second time to come to Taizo-in. Last time I came here to heal my broken heart in autumn (for more, please check my blog “The beauty of Kyoto”!). And after the visit, I dropped by JCB PLAZA Kyoto then saw a picture of beautiful cherry blossoms at Taizo-in (“JCB PLAZA Kyoto” for more). That’s why I’ve come to Taizo-in again. The photo was nice, but the real cherry blossoms are more beautiful. From the moment I entered the gate, I couldn’t take my eyes off the Shidare-zakura. You should definitely see them for real. I bet you’ll be impressed too. The best time to see them is probably from the beginning to the middle of April. At night, these trees are lit up and get more beautiful. I asked a monk how to say “It’s beautiful” in Kyoto dialect, and the answer was “Kireidosuna”! I gotta use the phrase right away. OK, I’ll give it a try!
Japan has a culture of cherishing the blooms under the cherry trees in spring. People eat obento (cold lunch) and drink alcohol there. It’s called “Ohanami (cherry blossom viewing picnic)”. I bet you’ll be tempted to do it too! I bought my obento at Tsujitome, the well-established Kyoto cuisine restaurant with 100 years of history. I’m having Ohanami under the cherry trees near the Kamo River in Kyoto! Ha ha ha. Here, take a look at my obento! Super Kireidosuna! Am I using the phrase correctly? Ha ha ha. These look like cherry blossom petals on my obento, but actually they’re thinly-sliced ginger. So kawaii (cute)! Wonder why Japanese traditional dishes are super magnificent like this obento. It looks too good to eat, but I’ll eat it after all. Ha ha ha. As I looked up, the lovely blooms looked like that girl’s face. I wish I could say “Kireidosuna” without hesitation....
Actually, another goal of my trip this time was the Heisei Chishinkan at the Kyoto National Museum. As you know, I also have talent in art. In fact, the snow statues I made at the Sapporo Snow Festival were highly praised! If you wanna see the statues, check my blog “Sapporo Snow Festival”! By the way, artworks from 1200 years of history including sculptures and paintings are displayed at Heisei Chishinkan, and I felt like I experienced the nature of Kyoto’s beauty. I was also impressed by the magnificence of the buildings. There are grid windows filling the huge lobby with natural sunlight, and at night, they look like shoji (paper screens) of a traditional Japanese house. They are really Kireidosuna! Their silhouettes on the front shallow pond have a fragile beauty too. No wonder they are popular among tourists from overseas. I looked in the pond out of my curiosity, and a handsome man was looking at me. He freaked me out but … oh, that was me!
Having fully enjoyed Kyoto, I headed to JCB PLAZA Kyoto at JR Kyoto Station with three- colored dumplings as a souvenir. I wanted to thank that girl who’d given me lots of travel information when I visited Kyoto for the first time, and the male staff who’d told me about the magnificence of Shidare-zakura at Taizo-in. Shidare-zakura turned into pink, brilliant obento and the Kyoto National Museum, where the building itself is also artistic... they’re all really “Kireidosuna”. I wanted to tell them about this excitement, so I dashed into JCB PLAZA Kyoto.... But whaaat? They’re both off today? No way. I’d practiced the phrase “Kireidosuna” again and again! My plan was totally ruined. Somehow I felt disappointed, and tears were about to run down my face. OK, never mind. I wanna join the campaign! I wiped away my tears and submitted the receipts of my JCB card. This time, I’m gonna win!
[Shooting Location]：Kyoto Myoshinji Taizo-in
Location：35, Myoshinji-cho, Hanazono
Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi Kyoto
Kyoto National Museum
Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi Kyoto