Tag Archives: cherry blossoms

Choose My Best Instagram Photos – Round 1, Group 41

You’re in for a treat this time. Sky, lots of sky. And sunsets! This is when my obsession for amazing, bright sunsets began. And they are some of my more popular photos. But I’ll let you be the judge. Let’s take a look.

The rules are simple. I post 10 of my Instagram photos every few days, and you get to vote on your favourites. It’s multiple choice, so please vote for 2 to 4 photos (3 is ideal). Leave a comment saying why you voted the way you did. The poll comes after the photos.

Here are the photos:

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Venus, moon, and Jupiter

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Today's amazing sunset and clouds

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Marsh boardwalk

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Mt Fuji sunset

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Mt Fuji sunset at the beach

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Yuigahama Beach in Kamakura

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The cliff of Inamuragasaki in Kamakura

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Inamuragasaki, Kamakura

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And now the vote. Please vote for your favourite photos (ideally 3, but anywhere between 2 and 4):


Thanks for voting! In addition to the vote above, please let me know why you voted the way you did. I’m very interested in knowing.

Viewing Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo

Today, I met my longtime friend in Tokyo, and we visited three gardens to see cherry blossoms.

First was Rikugien, near Komagome station. There was one tree that was very popular.



And we had a great view of the garden.


And I took lots of pictures of people crossing a stone bridge with a reflection below.




After that, we visited Shinjuku Gyoen, a big garden with Japanese, French, and English gardens. There was also an interesting greenhouse. But the cherry trees were the stars. This was the only picture I got with my phone. It’s a weeping cherry tree.


And finally, we went to Roppongi to see the Mori Park, right below the well-known Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills. It was pretty small. Then we checked out Tokyo Midtown and briefly looked at the National Art Gallery building.

Videos were taken, as well. I’m a bit behind on those. They’ll come, though. But maybe not until next week.

Comments are always welcome.

A Day at a Hot Spring Resort

This is just a preview. I’m not posting all the pictures. I have a lot of photos to show you and there’ll be videos to add to A Taste of Japan.

We’re in Izu, which is a peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture, and it’s famous for its resorts and hot springs (onsen). We’re staying in one. We first went to Kawazu, a town famous for Kawazu cherry blossoms, which are almost in full bloom. Here’s a picture of cherry blossoms and rapeseed.


We found a foot bath, too. We tried it out. Here are my feet.


We also had lunch before the cherry blossoms. I had udon with kinmedai, which is a fish that’s similar to red snapper. Delicious! It’s famous in Izu.


We went to Ito city next to check into our hotel. It’s in Izu-Atagawa, which has a ridiculous number of hot spring resorts. Here’s my daughter in her jinbei.


We then went down to the baths. These hot spring baths are split into men’s and women’s. My father-in-law and I went into the men’s, of course. If you know anything about Japanese hot springs, then you know people go in naked. But it was no problem for me. And of course, no pictures!

After that, we had a traditional Japanese dinner. I lost count how many courses it was. I’ll only show you one thing I ate. This:


It’s wagyuu! That’s expensive Japanese beef. Delicious!

Then my wife and I went down the street to an outdoor hot spring that was right at the sea. I mean, we could get out of the bath and take three steps into the ocean. However, the interesting thing about this hot spring is that it’s mixed. Men and women together! So, there I was in a hot spring next to the ocean under the moonlight with a few naked men and women. It wasn’t bad. I guess that’s what a naturist resort would be like.

We went back to the hotel, and this is what we did soon:


Tomorrow, another day of baths, and I think we’re seeing alligators and bananas.

Comments are definitely welcome.

Birds and Flowers – Today’s Marathon Walk

Today, we went for a walk to Izumi-chuo Station in Izumi Ward, Yokohama. We walked 17.8 km, and were treated to a lot of flowers and birds. The Japanese plum trees are blooming, and the Kawazu cherry trees are beginning to bloom. It’s like spring! So, enjoy the pictures and video.

This first picture is a Kawazu cherry tree that’s beginning to bloom. We will be going to Izu in Shizuoka prefecture later this month to see them in full bloom.


The flowers currently in bloom (nearly full) are the Japanese plum, or more correctly, the Japanese apricot. This tree has white blossoms.


And here are the first birds we saw. They’re great egrets. My wife saw about ten of them on this tree yesterday.


We walked past Engyou Hachimangu shrine early in our walk. I’ve been by this shrine so many times. I also did a video about it, which you can see here.


We made it to Engyou Park, and enjoyed the plum blossoms. Here are some bright pink ones.


And this is a deep pink one. Can you believe this was taken with an iPhone?


In this tree, we got to see a group of three mejiro, or Japanese white-eye. They’re a green bird that we can often see.


Here’s a mejiro with a commercial jet.


I was able to get a video of a couple of mejiro. However, the second one flew away just as I was starting to record it.

In the same park, there’s a bamboo grove. I love bamboo.


We walked for a while and entered Yokohama. This is Yumegaoka Station, one of my favourites, although it’s rather quiet and has a lack of houses around it. However, it has a wonderful view of Mt. Fuji.


And near Izumi-chuo Station, I saw this tree. Weird.


I took all of these pictures and the video with my iPhone. Better quality than my old digital camera.  Hope you enjoyed the pictures and video. Comments are always welcome.

I Want to Read Here

When I was a kid, I liked to take a book outside on a sunny day and read. The feeling appealed to me so much. It still does. These days, I do most of my reading on the train or during my lunch break.

But today, the weather is perfect. It’s a comfortable 20 degrees Celsius with a light breeze. And the cherry trees are blooming.


I want to read here.

How about you? Where do you like to read?

Spring Has Arrived

Spring in Japan means many things. It’s a time for beginnings. A new school year begins, a new business year starts, and new life appears. One of the biggest signs is the blooming of the cherry trees. This is how it looks today, though not in full bloom yet.





However, there are two other trees that impact many lives. They are sugi (Japanese cedar) and hinoki (Japanese cypress). After the war, the Japanese government planted millions of cedar trees around Japan in an effort to repopulate the forests with a tree that grows quickly and can be used for house construction. It’s a very useful tree. Unfortunately, the pollen has proven to be a problem for both trees. People are very often allergic to it. Me too. March and April may be beautiful, but for many people it’s a beautiful hell.

Cherry Trees in Full Bloom

To those of you caught in the snow in Canada, I’m very, very sorry about this post. I’m from Canada, but living here in Japan has its perks. For example, it’s been around 20 degrees Celsius or above for much of the past week. And today, the cherry trees near my home were in full bloom. I’m so sorry to show these pictures to you.




Oh, who am I kidding?  I’m not sorry.  I’m absolutely loving this!  But I do hope your spring gets better, Canada.

My Presence on YouTube

Did you know that I have a YouTube channel?  You didn’t?  Well, here it is.

I haven’t done much on YouTube recently, but I have plans to use it quite a bit in the near future.  So far, I’ve mostly put up some rather unimpressive videos I took, such as fireworks, the sound of cicadas, some not very exciting typhoon videos, and so on.  I’ve been going back over my videos and thought I’d showcase some of them here, just so you can get a taste of what I’ve taken.

In honour of the blooming of the cherry trees, let’s start with this one.  It was taken three years ago.

Four years ago, I attended all three sumo tournaments that take place in Tokyo every year.  Here are a couple videos from one tournament, starting with a Yobidashi singing, and then followed by a fan cheerleading.

Five years ago, I went to Odaiba in Tokyo to see a museum, but there was also a full-sized Gundam model.  Of course, I had to take a video.

So, what am I planning to do with my YouTube channel?  I may actually do some vlogging.  The topics will include Japan, books, and nature.

Comments are always welcome!