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Sakura Hunting in Tokyo!

Sakura Hunting in Tokyo!
March 31, 2018 wfire3

Sakura Hunting in Tokyo!

Hello again, this is Walter, “The English Conversation Doctor“, coming to you from the Imperial Palace Gardens here in Tokyo, Japan. If you’ll notice, today’s pretty nice and sunny, so it’s a perfect day to go Sakura Hunting! (More…)

Sakura Hunting @ the Tokyo Imperial Palace!

For those of you who don’t know, the word sakura means “cherry blossom” in Japanese. Cherry blossom trees are a type of prunus tree that are native to Japan and the Himalayas. While Japan is widely known for its gardens, temples, palaces and beautifully crafted sculptures, the sakura tree is a very special part of the Japanese culture as a deeply rooted and defining symbol of the nation and its people.

The thing that makes the sakura tree special is that its beauty is transient. Cherry blossom trees only bloom for a few days to 1 week at the most. After that, their beautiful pink leaves are carried off by the strong spring winds and rain until the next year. Because most sakura trees actually share the same DNA, they tend to bloom and fade at the same time, which makes them even more unique and appealing to the public.

The Japanese tradition of “hanami” or “flower watching” actually began in the Nara Period from 710 – 794 A.D., but at the time the ume (or Japanese plum tree) watching was customary. Sakura tree watching didn’t really become popular until 795 A.D., but it has been a national symbol of Japan ever since.

Now, as for my shooting location, the Tokyo Imperial Palace and Gardens are actually built on top of the old Edo Castle ruins and is the residence of Japanese Imperial Family. Edo Castle at one time housed the Shogun  Yoshinobu Tokugawa, until the Meiji Restoration. However, by then most of the castle had already been destroyed by earthquakes or fires.

But as you can see, even though most of the old structures are long gone, the new Imperial Palace still attracts a lot of Japanese and foreign visitors alike who are interested in experiencing Japanese culture. So, if you’re ever in Japan around the end of March and are looking for a place to view cherry blossoms while experiencing a piece of Japanese history at the same time, the Imperial Palace might be the place you are looking for.

That’s it for this report, time for me to go enjoy the cherry blossoms!



New Vocabulary ( 新ボキャブラリー )

prunus tree = サクラ属の木

sculpture = 彫刻

transient = 儚い

bloom = 咲く

unique = 特殊

appealing = 惑的な

ruins = 残骸

residence = 邸宅

structure = ストラクチャー

attract = うっとりさせる

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