Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The pink and the white




When we first arrived in Kyoto, I was worried that we had come too soon.
The cherry trees were showing scant sign of flowering
and the weather was cold. 
I could have taken comfort from the words of Yoshida Kenk├Á,
a  12th century Buddhist monk who asked,

Are we to look at cherry blossoms only in full bloom,
the moon only when it is cloudless?
Branches about to blossom or a garden strewn with faded flowers
are worthier of our admiration.

Unfortunately I do not possess the philosophical outlook
of a 12th century Buddhist monk
and 6000 miles is a long way to travel to see bare twigs.


The view from our ryokan window in Arashiyama.
That's a Sagano Scenic Railway train.
 It used to stop to have a look at us, 
while we had a look at them across the Hozugawa river.

In the event, we saw the sakura in all its transiently beautiful stages
from first opening - 







The Philosopher's Path, a walk along a canal lined
by hundreds of cherry trees.




Nijo castle garden.







Kodaiji  Zen Temple and raked gravel rock garden. 


- to hanaikada, the word used to describe
cherry blossom petals floating on the water's surface like a raft.


Shinjuku Park, Tokyo.




9 comments:

  1. I am so pleased to see your lovely photos as I missed the sakura on my one and only visit to Japan. It is absolutely stunning!

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  2. Wow - what an amazing sight.

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  3. I am (more or less) speechless. And that doesn't happen very often.

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  4. I think we should all club together and send you off to Japan every spring. Your photos are stunning, an insight into the magic of sakura. Thank you for sharing them.

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  5. Sublime. How glad I am that you are such a fine photographer and so generous with these views.

    xo

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  6. How absolutely, utterly, almost heartbreakingly beautiful it all is!

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  7. So beautiful. You are so lucky to have seen this. I remember the scene with the Cherry blossom from The Geisha Girl film.
    Your photographs are stunning.

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  8. I do love the white blossoms. Our cherry blossoms are always pink over here.

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  9. Love your sense of humour.
    In the end it all worked out for you and you have a treasure of photographs. I loved seeing them, thank you.
    joanna

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