This April, for the first time in 3 years, the Osaka Mint Bureau held its cherry blossom viewing event. The Osaka Mint Bureau is the head office of Japan Mint and has various responsibilities related to coins. However, it's famous for it's 300 cherry trees and every April opens its gates for 1 week to the public. There are over 100 cherry varieties, some quite rare, and they never fail to disappoint! This year visitors had to make reservations to enter and we were able to get a spot on the very first day. Despite iffy weather, the cherry blossoms were in great condition and the crowds were far, far less than in the past. It was a delight to be there after a 3 year break.
Osaka Mint Information: www.japan-guide.com/e/e4008.html
Video of visiting Osaka Mint: www.youtube.com/watch?v=95YzxcguKdI
Information about cherry blossom varieties: khaawsflowerpicture.com/english-main/cherry-english-page/
With all the heat and rain of the past few weeks, my garden has exploded! Once the rains stops, I'll need to rearrange all the pots so they all have a bit more breathing space. It’s one thing to be close together in winter when most of them don’t have any leaves. But now? Rather squishy!! Remember, though, that I have about 150 pots. I'm going to be busy!
This is from my garden yesterday. I haven't had many chances to take photos lately though – too busy,
If you drive to Awaji Shima from Kansai, you must cross the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (such a beautiful bridge!) and soon after you will come to the Awaji Highway Oasis, a rest stop for travelers. We rarely stop since although the views are spectacular, there are usually too many people. This time, however, we decided to stop on our way home since it was spring and the one side has a beautiful garden out the back. It did not disappoint and we wished we had more time to explore. Maybe next time.
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge: www.japan-guide.com/e/e3559.html
Awaji Highway Oasis: thegate12.com/spot/1327
We went on yet another short trip to Awaji Shima – our third since the new year. We ended up staying in the small town of Sumoto. This wasn't our first time staying there but usually we visit in February when it is much colder and our options are
limited. This time the weather was gorgeous and we spent most of our time outside exploring the town and enjoying the beach. We also discovered some fantastic local restaurants. On the morning we left, we visited a local indigo dying studio, AiAii, which had a small shop. They grow the plants used for dyeing locally and the process is very time consuming. It was very interesting and I'd love to take one of their workshops one day. We will be back – but probably not until next year.
Sumoto Trip Advisor: www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g1022843-Sumoto_Awaji_shima_Hyogo_Prefecture_Kinki-Vacations.html
AiAii (Japanese): aiaii.blue/
AiAii FB Page (English): https://www.facebook.com/AiAiiIndigo/
The last stop on our trip was in Tsuyama in Okayama Prefecture. We arrived just in time for the Tsuyama Sakura Festival. Tsuyama Castle's Kakuzan Park has around 1000 cherry trees and they were all in full bloom. It is one of Japan's top 100 famous sakura spots and I can certainly see why! We enjoyed the cherry blossoms so much we went twice – once in the evening and once the next morning. There's no such thing as too many cherry blossoms!
Tsuyama Sakura Festival: en.japantravel.com/okayama/tsuyama-sakura-festival/65382
I'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.