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Showing posts from April, 2016

Cherry blossoms 2016: fourth report from Meguro

This has been a rather blah cherry blossom season. I should use the past tense – it was disappointing – because it's over now in Tokyo. A few tenacious blossoms remain, and late-blooming varieties might still surprise us, but the main act has finished.
As I've mentioned before,  I stubbornly completed two walks despite the bad weather: a grey day in Kamakura, which I've already written about, and an early-morning sopping wet walk along the Meguro River. My new camera, Mycroft, still hasn't entirely forgiven me for the latter.

This river walk is one of Tokyo's most famous cherry blossom spots, but I avoided it in the past because it looked even more crowded than Chidorigafuchi. This year, when the weekend of peak bloom (満開 mankai) was accompanied by rain, I thought I'd take a chance because it would probably be less frantic. I arrived early and walked from Meguro Station along the river to Ikejiriohashi Station. Despite the rain, the last part of the river in …

Cherry blossoms 2016: third report from Kamakura

The weather gods, or Mother Nature, or fate: they're all in a bad mood due to global warming or possibly Japan's obsession with concrete …
It's been estimated that Japan pours 490 cubic meters of concrete per square kilometer, compared with 40 cubic meters in the USA and 310 in China. Not for nothing is Japan known as the construction state.*
Anyway. Whatever the reason, the 2016 cherry blossom season has been one of the worst since I arrived in this mortared matrix ten years ago: it remains overcast, chilly and drizzly. Early April is seldom perfect, but this year's been extra dismal.

While others might bewail a lost opportunity to get blotto under the blossoms, I'm in a strop because it's nigh impossible to take decent photos when soft pink blossoms disappear against a grey sky.
Most of my plans were scuppered, but I stubbornly followed two: to go to Kamakura (which I did last Friday) and to walk along the Meguro River (this morning), both for the first time in c…