The Signal of Spring
Well, I'm a little late here, but finally, at the risk of coming off as gay, I've got the Spring set-up going.
The new school year starts in Spring, which is where we are now. The new entrance ceremony and first week tie in almost perfectly with the sakura (cherry blossom) trees in full bloom. The full bloom of the sakura only lasts a week or so, which is part of the reason that the Japanese love them so much. They suddenly spring up everywhere (and they really are everywhere), stand out looking beautiful for a short while, then slowly fade away again as all their petals are blown off.
You know in the movies, where the couple are always having a romantic walk along some random street, and all the beautiful pink petals are falling down all around them like snow? Well, amazingly, that's exactly what happens. The sakura are actually coming to the end of their run now, and for the last few days, it's just been a constant rain of petals. Many temples have had light-up events at night, and even the Imperial Palace opened up for a few days – it only does that twice a year. There have been fireworks events, and many parties in the park. Many women are sporting kimono colour-coded to the changing of the season. The ground is covered in dainty little pink spots, and walking around in the right places is really very beautiful as they slowly dance down. It really is very romantic – a feeling which would probably be even further enhanced if I actually had someone to share it with.
Of course though, I don't, so I just got to trapse around with a camera. So, here's some random photos for you.