Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Land of Cherry Blossom

Last December, D2 and I, together with 3 other friends took a relaxing holiday in Japan where we took in the major sights of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. Since it was already winter the weather was cold. Snow had not begun to fall yet in the city or in the countryside. But the wind was chillingly cold.
Everywhere I looked, I noticed the Sakura tree had long started to shred its leaves which had turned brown. Naturally, the beautiful Sakura flowers more popularly known as cherry blossoms ,were missing. Nonetheless, even in winter, I have a deep admiration for the sheer popularity of this tree...for it was the locals who asked, " do you know what a Sakura tree looks like in winter?" as they pointed excitedly to the surrounding trees.
It seems they are everywhere!
My first visit to Japan, the land of the cherry blossoms and the land of the samurais, was back in June and July 1972 ( exactly 35 years ago ) when I was then the Leader of the Singapore delegation to the 2nd ASIAN YOUTH VOYAGE and the 1st ASIAN YOUTH CONFERENCE at Naha, Okinawa. ( I will have a major post about that journey and adventure later ).
This sample of leaves was collected from a famous temple in Kyoto.
I often collect samples of fauna, flora and other interesting tidbits of geology, geography,history etc...and in my spare time, turn all the collected items, plus the photos,receipts,tickets, bills and other stuff, into a singular travel journal.
In upcoming posts, I shall delve into my collected journals and share the contents, pictures and recollections of many trips, over many,many years across many countries.

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