Mount Shinobu’s Sakura

While we were still in Fukushima, we decided to visit Mount Shinobu. It was here that I found out that sakura flowers come in different shapes and colours.

Walking up from the carpark, we passed a large cemetery overlooking the city. The strong smell of burning incense sticks permeated the silence around us as we walked up a road flanked by tall trees on both sides. We reached a split in the road and up on the steeper walking path stood a thin tall sakura tree, still with white flowers on it. The tree was so tall that it was hard to see the flowers properly.

Further up the path, we came across an open space with yaezakura ( a term used for sakura flowers that have more than five petals on a single flower). The trees were in full bloom and their branches were full of plump pink flowers.

Making our way past the yaezakura trees we came to some stone steps that led to a small cemetery surrounded by white sakura trees. It was a scenery so serene, so beautiful that it didn’t feel like it belonged in this world. The floor was almost white, covered in thousands of fallen sakura petals, yet there were still so many flowers on the trees. Once the wind blew, the petals would float around like falling snow.

Evening Walk in Izumi

Not far from Satoshi-san’s house there was a small golf course and behind it was Matsu river. By late afternoon there was hardly anyone outside and it was so quiet. On the golf course there was a sign indicating the radioactive measurement, a safe and normal level for Japan.

We followed a narrow path next to the river and came across some trees with white flowers. Those were sakura trees! Although most of the flowers had fallen off, we were still excited to see them. We didn’t come on this trip to see sakura flowers, much less expected that we would even catch a glimpse of sakura flowers because it was quite late during the season.

On the other side of the riverbank, we noticed a few sakura trees with some flowers on the branches. So we proceeded to cross the bridge to get closer to those trees. Then we realised that the path was actually lined with sakura trees. It must be so stunning to walk on this path when they are in full bloom. Standing around, we noticed a big tree next to what seemed like an abandoned building. Unlike others, itstill had a lot of flowers left on its wide reaching branches. This graceful tree was the start of our proper encounter with a sakura tree.