Thursday, May 17, 2007

Things Are Not Always Equal

We are well into summer here in northern Japan. You can tell by the 50 degree temps and the pouring rain. But, no complaining here as some places still have snow. As you can see, the snow walls are still about 12-15 feet high in the mountains between here and Aomori City. So a little rain I can deal with. Although at one point today I was sure that it was snowing .... but it turns out that the petals were just blowing off of the mountain cherries in the forest across from my house. Still, for a moment I was prepared for the worst.
I leave tomorrow for Tokyo. Four blissful days to myself with my friend Anna and being joined by the Daughter who is coming home for a bit of the summer. Anna went to the sumo tournament yesterday and had the time of her life she says. We watched it on the television at the Club bar ... but we never saw her ... just a bunch of very large very sweaty men. In strange skirts. With amazing hair. What more could I say?

I will try to take some pictures of the Meiji Shrine (my favorite place in Tokyo) and the kids at Harajuku which is always exciting ... but especially so at the weekend. I will try to get my Chinese visa going at the Chinese Embassy with the help of the Daughter who is studying Chinese. And I will be knitting. On a sweater that I decided at the last minute I will need on my trip to China where I believe they may actually have summer so this may not be the best idea. But it is cotton. So maybe that will help. And I will put pictures up when I get a chance ... no no really, I promise.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Golden Week

And what a Golden Week it was! These are the carp flags that fly over most if the houses here this time of year to celebrate Boy's Day (now called Children's Day). Some houses have 7 or 8 flying out front and in a stiff wind they wriggle just like live carp do ... very pretty. Also, celebrated this week was the former Emperor's birthday which is now called Green Day and several other holidays which I cannot remember off the top of my head right now.

This was one of three week long holiday celebrations that we have here. The others being Oban (celebration of the dead) and New Years. I think the Japanese do it right ... no onesies and twosies ... no, they go for the whole week. And to make it even better the cherry blossoms chose this week to bloom. No small deal after the freak blizzard we had one night last week which set them back a day or two I am sure.

So this post is a bit picture heavy but that is what this time of year is all about ... the beauty.

And then we had a huge rain storm and the petals piled up like snow ... but still amazing.

As she walks past me
A veil of cherry blossoms
Covers her dark hair.