Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Sakura Season

Fukuoka's nature is gradually, gently, tilting its cheek from brown to pink. I am grateful for glimpses of tiny sakura buds winking from sparse branches as I fly past gardens, en route to the everyday. Japan's Winter presented so many culinary wonders. I will miss the abundance of nabe dinners under the warmth of the kotatsu, which make the evenings linger with the scent of delicious dashi and long thoughtful conversations.  

March marks the end of the school year in Japan and the elation is palpable in the streets. Futons are being aired, I need one less layer of woollens in this little paper theatre house. The skies are immense and cloudless. The windows slide open and blow all of my cobwebs free and I have one more hour each evening to inspect the growth of the bulbs and saffron in the garden, nursing a cup of tea and my memories. With each new opening bud of a daffodil, I am reminded of home and that Spring brings with it the same sense of hope wherever in the world it arrives. It has been a long winter without you, but my hair is starting to smell like the wind again.  Welcome pinkness. 

さくらseason is here. Each day more blossom petals wink their hello to Spring. Cycling to the castle, past the lake, flying through the sakura lined streets, the cherry blossom halts all on their way to living. The awe puts on the brakes, widens the eyes, grows a smile, soaks the beauty. March light is magical here, as the sun sleeps later and later. Hawks picnic on hanami scraps. O sake flows and music pulses through Ohori Koen. The smells of sweet, sour, yakitori, okinomiyaki, motsu, taiyaki filter through the blossom branches, and are temptations to stay all night under the spotlit moonlight.