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View From Above Kongo Ji

15 April 2017

Cherry Blossom in Japan

A lot is written about the cherry blossom in Japan, and a lot of photos are taken of it. Head over to Instagram and see the same views snapped over and over again - each one exquisite, each one identical, save for the creative twiddling of the filter knobs. I always slightly dismissed cherry blossom. It was too pretty, too easy, but recently, the more I see of it, the more I like it. Especially out in the sticks, away from Kyoto, away from the crowds. It’s still a cliche, but so much of Japan is.
Kongo-ji in Kawachinagano, deep in rural Osaka, is just the place to see it. We visited bang on peak flowering season - mankai is the word for it - and saw one other visitor all morning.
You don’t need to visit temples though. Almost every neighbourhood has a grove of trees - our local is a small hilltop in Takidanifudo.
All these trees are Somei Yoshino (Prunus x yedoensis). They are big trees, not for small gardens. Personally, I think their beauty lies in the simplicity, and repetition - the temptation of many gardeners is to seek variety, and ‘interest’ but that’s not the Japanese way.

In The Garden At Kongo Ji
Kongo Ji
Takidanifudo From Below
Cherry Blossom At Takidanifudo