Thursday, March 28, 2013

tokyo trip: blissful blossoms!

after picking up his tired, groggy, make-up less (read: SCARY) 7th favorite wife blogger up from the ueno train station, ben started us back to the hotel. BUT. he made sure we went to our hotel by way of ueno park, which is currently in the midst of being the most glorious, white-way-of-delight-ish place in the entire world! we somehow lucked out to be here in tokyo the very week the cherry blossoms are at their very best, brightest, & whitest. even thinking about the cherry blossoms now gives me shivers. as you can see from the pictures below, the blooms are so thick you feel like the trees are topped not by little flowers, but by a giant bowl of white-lavender popcorn (which i discovered, after extensive googling, is totally a real thing), or a bundle of snowy cotton balls. hello, i'm in fifth grade & i just used "cotton balls" to describe something (but don't get me wrong. fifth graders are great). the branches reach out so far & hang so low, they intersect with the branches on the other side of the walkway until you're walking under a juicy white blanket of blossomed goodness. whoa. did that sentence even make sense?!

anyway, so after my long trip over from the states (our plane traveled to japan by way of flying over canada, alaska, & russia, if you're interested), tokyo pulled out all the stops to give me one giant welcoming party. check it!:

the sun was going down, the red lanterns lit up, & these blossoms still glowed in the dusk like there was no tomorrow:

so i came to japan thinking cherry blossoms could only be found in specific areas, set aside in beautiful fields & parks that one had to travel to in order to enjoy. luckily i was VERY wrong. cherry trees are tucked between buildings, in little sidewalk planters, scattered among shrines - in a word, they're almost everywhere. it was such a pleasant surprise to, you know, turn a corner in shinjuku or somewhere & suddenly be met by a cluster of white blossoms.

something i love about the japanese is they totally use the cherry blossoms to symbolize a lot of really wonderful things. check out what wikipedia says, as i shamelessly simply copy & paste from here, because i've already been working on this post for a godforsakenly long amount of time & i don't feel like summarizing it:

In Japan, cherry blossoms also symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse, besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life,[5] an aspect of Japanese cultural tradition that is often associated with Buddhistic influence,[6] and which is embodied in the concept of mono no aware.[7] The association of the cherry blossom with mono no aware dates back to 18th-century scholar Motoori Norinaga.[7] The transience of the blossoms, the extreme beauty and quick death, has often been associated with mortality;[5] for this reason, cherry blossoms are richly symbolic, and have been utilized often in Japanese artmangaanime, and film, as well as at musical performances for ambient effect."

the morning after i arrived, we walked out to shinjuku gyoen park (other pictures of the park mentioned here) only to be met by the magical wonderland that was MORE CHERRY BLOSSOMS. 

the cherry trees themselves are stunning as well, as you can see in the picture below. twisted, tangled, yet somehow beautiful dark branches reaching up to the heavens & out in front of you. a lot of the branches hang really low, as well, so you can walk into them & be completely enveloped by the delicate white clouds. gosh, i am waxing SO poetic in this post. :)

these pictures are a little blurry, but i wanted to show how low the branches hang:

this particular corner of shinjuku gyoen park had blossoms of all different shades of pink, & even some green. this made the blossoms THAT MUCH BETTER:

i LOVE the two pictures just above that show how packed together the blossoms were. & sometimes the wind would pick up, & when that happened white blossoms would fall & flutter all around us, as you can kind of see in the picture below, but not really:

after wandering among clumps of cherry trees, we stumbled upon this wide open field, just chilling there, bordered by cherry trees on all sides. it actually felt quite parisian, the whole spacious gardens feel of it all. can you blame me for frolicking???!!

dearest cherry blossoms,

we love you. don't ever change, except you probably will in a week, sadly.

the frandsens.


  1. Reading this reminded me of floral design class last week, we did Japanese designs! I didn't know this before, but everything in a Japanese design is symbolic. You use three man flowers/objects, you have a tall one that represents heaven, one that's shorter to represent man, and the shortest one represents earth. The three are three-dimensional within the design and the point should form a triangle, kind of like this: Isn't that interesting? Too much information turtles haha

  2. stop stop stop the pink blossoms section. THAT IS SO MAGICAL I'M GOING TO DIE. you are living my japanese dreams!

  3. I have always wanted to be there for the cherry blossom festival. okay: not always... but for many years. anyway, I'm jealous.

  4. haha no that's really interesting about the flowers hb! i didn't know that aspect of man, God, earth. coool!

  5. Amazing. That's all I have to say. Just kidding I also have to say that these pictures are AMAZING. Well done capturing it, you two.



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