Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tokyo Is Like Heaven in Spring

Japan is a beautiful country in many ways. The Japanese islands are surrounded by the ocean, which is always good for relaxing our eyes and brains. Japan has many different types of ocean scenery, from the tender warmth of the beaches to the powerful, masculine rock ridges. Mountains cover 60% of the land. The mountains form picturesque scenery filled with trees, forests, lakes, and even volcano activities. Japan's 2,000 years of civilization has provided many historical places. Thousands of temples and shrines could be found in all over Japan, and all have historical meanings. Unfortunately, the capital city of Tokyo is usually not so pretty. However, there is one time that all of Japan, even Tokyo, becomes like a part of heaven.

That time is springtime, specifically a period from the end of March to early April when cherry trees come into full blossom. Wherever you go in Japan during this time, you cannot avoid seeing cherry flowers. All the flowers are pretty, but cherry flowers are unique. Cherry flowers have a light pink color that is almost white. When they blossom fully, the trees have flowers, but no leaves. There are some popular places to see cherry flowers in full bloom.

Good places to view cherry flowers in Tokyo include Ueno Park near Ueno Station, Somei Graveyard in northeastern Tokyo, Asukayama Park in the north, Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo, and the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo. In addition, there are many other popular places that have cherry flowers in Tokyo or other areas in Japan. Japanese schools usually have between three and ten cherry trees. Many students always remember the cherry blossoms at the entrance, especially at the beginning of a new semester or at graduation.

My mother lives in the western outskirts of Tokyo in a town called Fuchu-shi. The city has more than 1,000 cherry trees that blossom fully each spring. There is a road that has cherry trees lining both sides. When these cherry trees blossom each spring, they form a tunnel of cherry flowers. This is the only time of year when even Tokyo looks like heaven in Japan.

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