“Sakura” was one of the first Japanese words I ever learned.

Sakura = cherry blossom. Here’s a character for “sakura”. Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 4.20.32 AM

I wish I knew about ten thousand more ideograms.

In another lifetime, perhaps.

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I learned the word because Sakura was the brand name of the oil pastel sticks I used to so love to draw with. This was their logo.

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It was decades after that encounter with “sakura” before I found out it meant “cherry blossom”. Pretty plain to see, isn’t it?

In Kyoto, during the middle time of our visit, we saw our first open blossom.

Then we went south for a week, and watched with delight as the cherry trees came more and more into bloom. By the time we got back to our home base southwest of Tokyo, the season was fully on.


One morning I walked up to the ridge in back of the house to see the phenomenon.

The way up was an immersion experience.


Through these trees’ branches, you could see the cherry trees in the hills beyond.


A nearby roadway was a floral allée.


What a pleasure to drive or to walk down a hill like this.


The hill was also nice to look up. At the top of the hill, someone was taking a photo.


Where there are cherry blossoms, there are photographers.


A few days later we went on a walk with the family. On the approach to the Buddha we visited, I took this photo, which is going to be one of my favorites from this trip.

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One response to “Sakura!

  1. I seriously did not know what that work meant, but probably should have because I have seen it before. I think there is still a restaurant in Japantown in San Jose with that name. Incidentally, my brother-in-law’s middle name is Yoshino! I totally dig that name, even though I would not know a Yoshino cherry if I saw one. The ones I know as Yoshino may be something else.

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