I have just come back from a holiday in Japan, timed perfectly for the blossom season. Japan is a place I have always wanted to visit, perhaps thanks to anecdotes from Dad Dorris about his business trips in the early 1980s and certainly due to the gardens and a dash of ‘Lost in Translation’ as well.
We started in Tokyo Shinjuku-Ku district (above) where it was bitterly cold and grey. A smart district, clean and high rise. No street eating, drinking or smoking allowed. There’s a good idea Mrs May. We then moved to Kyoto for ten days. Further south, we used Kyoto as our base to visit Hiroshima and Miyajima. We then returned to a different area of Tokyo, Ikebukuro before returning home.
Before we set off my sister and I thought we might need to book a guide to help us navigate the city but in practice it was not needed at all. Destination signs on the metro and train network are helpfully translated into English and announcements are also given in English. At various times locals stopped to ask if they could help us find our way, one lady even leaving her place in the bus queue to help guide us. Without exception the locals were friendly, polite and happy to help.
We used taxis, metro, buses, trams, a ferry, the bullet and our feet, walking over 75!miles and it was fantastic. The bits we saw were fascinating. I can only describe the trip as like a weekend city break but for much longer, so not relaxing but completely absorbing and delightful and very exhausting!
You may not be surprised to learn that I have rather a lot of photographs of blossom and I have posted some of these Here already.
One thing I hadn’t anticipated was how much the Japanese embrace the blossom season. They party under the trees and merchandise is blossom themed.
Stationary, worthy of a post in its own right, food and sweet products, cola bottles, entrances to shops, all distinctly blossom themed.
The cleaning team waiting to go through the bullet train before departure. Actually this could be their uniform all the time but, you see my point.
Even the cars are blossom coloured. Ok may be I am getting carried away.
There are castles, temples and shrines to see and enjoy. The cities are densely built and high rise, full of convenience stores and vending machines and sushi bars and restaurants. There are neon lights, millions of people and I loved it all. Tokyo National Museum was fabulous, full of exquisite treasures, beautifully displayed. As I am no travel guide I do not intend to talk about any of these in detail other than to say that they are very interesting and fascinating and I wished I had time to see it all.
I shall share some pictures of the gardens another time but here are just a couple of the signs which amused me.
On that note, I shall sign off here. Thanks for reading. D.
Pink blossom, hopelessly romantic?
Or sickly sweet like candy floss?
Whatever you think, and I find them far too frou-frou, I reckon we all cannot fail but to be impressed by this sight against a blue sky.
Finally a fine weekend is forecast, which will make a pleasant change, especially for a bank holiday weekend. Be sure to spend as much time as possible outside, that’s certainly my plan. D.
Fallen petal. Actually not a petal but a bract. Bougainvillea and shadows.
Do tell me if you know what the weird pink fan plant is. D.
(0f a colour) strong and dark:
I took this picture last weekend in Delft, Holland. I was walking to the botanical gardens, of course(!) alongside the canal. The houses were all very well cared for with no front garden, the inhabitants had window boxes or perhaps a large pot by their door and this house had a Hollyhock growing between the cobbles. The windows and doors were painted dark blues or grey/ black.
I was struck initially by the eyecatching colour of this Hollyhock and then the contrast of it to the deep blue/ black paintwork. Its creamy white centre and the pollen sat upon the petal of deep pink. A deep shade of magenta, the depth of its petal colour changing from a sort of Mexican pink at its edge to a deep magenta at its middle. The colour seems all the more deep against the dark background.
That is my look at the word deep for this weeks photo challenge. Sandra is one of the hosts for the photo challenge. Her lovely blog is https://daffodilwild.wordpress.com
Take a look at other entries on her page and for those of you who saw this as my Wordless Wednesday entry, sorry to be boring and repeat myself but it was too delicious a colour not to show again.
This morning was one of those mornings when it was overcast, a soft grey start and yet the weakening sun felt as if it would put in an appearance at some stage. There was a slight Autumnal edge to the day and I started out hopeful for a little sunshine. The pinks looked a soft grey pink.
The sun did shine and after the rain yesterday it was really rather pleasant. Persicaria, Pheasants tail grass, Sedum and Japanese anemone looked as pretty as a picture so I thought I should share them with you.
Sedum ‘Autumn joy’
It is quite remarkable how the light and a blue sky changes how things look. Me? Well I had a busy day and i thought I would show you my gloves following the delightful task of stripping the seed head from Stipa tenuissima.
I do hope you have had a good day wherever you are.