On Friday I went to Auburn Botanic Gardens to view the cherry blossoms. They have a festival on over two weekends where they have sumo wrestling, taiko drums, ikebana presentations, etc, but I wanted to view the blossoms when there were less people.
It was a bright sunny morning and relatively warm for winter with just a hint of a breeze. Taking photos and walking under the arcade of blossoms brought back memories of when I lived and worked in Tokyo during cherry blossom time.
I remember the first time I saw them. My landlord at the time took myself and two others to Ueno Park – a very large park in Tokyo – at night to view the cherry blossoms. They were beautiful in the moonlight but I also remember the overwhelming smell of beer as the park cleaners gathered together and removed what seemed like hundreds of beer cans.
In Japan during cherry blossom time people have picnics under the trees. Office workers used to, and I assume still do, send someone junior out to hold a space for the others to come later. Many people and groups party under the cherry blossom trees hence all the beer cans.
In Japan the television stations and newspapers have a map announcing when the cherry blossoms will be in bloom starting in Okinawa and moving all the way up to Hokkaido. People know when their local cherry trees will be in bloom and plan their viewing and parties accordingly.
I moved to another part of Tokyo a few years later. It was always a pleasure to walk to the subway there in springtime when the cherry blossoms were in bloom because of the beauty of the trees and the gentle dropping of the petals in the breeze. The path was often pink where the petals had dropped to the ground. It seemed like I was walking in pink snow at times.
The blossoms are ephemeral. A strong breeze or heavy rain will empty the branches of these beautiful blossoms very quickly.
Auburn Botanic Gardens is worth a visit to see the Japanese gardens and the other gardens including the Australian Rainforest and scented gardens. The rose garden is also beautiful when the roses are in bloom. You may see a peacock or other wildlife while you are there.