Showing posts from April, 2023

Japan: Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Season

One of the special joys of Japan is “Sakura” or Cherry Blossom season which begins around the end of March and lasts for approximately two weeks.  So, we traveled to Japan on March 14 for this reason.  When we arrived in Tokyo and Yokohama, the cherry trees were not in bloom yet. There's a window of about a month between March and April when the flowers will start to bloom. Sakura are traditionally planted in shrines and temples, and castle grounds. So, we took excursions to places said to be the top viewing spots like Himeji Castle and Fuji Five Lakes.  We spotted a few plum blossoms of dark pink color at Himeji Castle and Gardens, but the cherry trees were not in bloom yet.    Our guide to Himeji Castle and Fujisan reminded us not to worry if we had not spotted Sakura during our first week in Japan. It’s hard to miss Sakura because it makes the headline news in Japan before any bad economic and political news.  Sakura is very important to the Japanese culture.  Traditionally, the

The Beauty of Bangkok

The Beauty of Bangkok Though I had been resting gently in the palm of the hills at the most northern edge of this country of smells the city drew me like a magnet like a magpie to a shiny object I ate heaping plates of spicy  noodles at streetside stalls asked women to pummel my body allowed for sweetness to enter via mango and sticky rice and allowed the subterfuge of those who would take advantage  to wash off of me easily Outside the Flower Market Wat Pho - the birthplace of traditional massage Grand Palace Complex - Outside the Temple of the Emerald Buddha