the japanese have a thing about 桜 sakura (cherry blossoms). i missed the best season of 桜 in 京都 kyoto this yea, though. i don’t feel quite up to making my way through the crowd. everywhere you go you’ll only find streets thick with people in 東山 higashiyama, 京都, this time of year. instead, i upload my best 桜 pictures i took there a couple years back. they can refresh my memories of the beauty of 京都 in 桜 season, which was speechless. i did need no words to appreciate it, but i got tired of the crush and congestion in town, really.
so, spring has come to all over japan. not exactly -- it’s already summer out here. the temperature went up as high as 28 degree centigrade in 大阪 osaka yesterday: it was a bit too hot for お花見 o-hanami (sakura picnic). i saw many people having a party under the blossoms, however. the best blooms are clearly gone, while our お花見 mode is still in full swing. everyone enjoys power-pink 桜吹雪 sakura-fubuki (cherry blossom confetti) as an unseasonable summer breeze kisses the cherry blossoms. we japanese are terribly, unbearably fond of 桜. do you know why? because, 桜 is short-lived: the bloom makes us feel like such a fool if we missed it: the blossom goes with grace, no hesitation.
i heard one 鶯 uguisu (bush-warbler) singing somewhere yesterday morning. it’s springtime no doubt. and, the climate is mediterranean's at the moment. for me, it was perfect a saturday evening doing nothing but cooking linguine con le vongole with crushed chili and chopped parsley (from my mother’s kitchen garden) and sipping argentine white plonk. i am happily idling away my time at weekend, as i’ve been working full time for a project for my last two weeks now in an office in 京橋 kyobashi, 大阪, weekend has become something special (and allows me to eat lots of garlic) to me.
on the other hand, it is an good opportunity for me to discover 大阪. i don’t know much about the city even though i’ve been one of osakans for several years; i haven’t really been fair towards 大阪, you know. the office is located in the tower 21, overlooking 大阪城 osaka-jo (osaka castle), so naturally, the view is breathtaking, while the “project x” (that's the name, actually) i now work on as a translator is just painstaking. one morning, i looked at 大阪城 from the office windows. i noticed blue plastic sheets spread out under the cherry blossoms along the river near 大阪城. then i noticed people sitting and having お花見 on the plastic-sheets when i was about to leave my office.
traditionally, poor freshmen would have to go and find an ideal place for お花見 to seize it by spreading plastic sheets early in the morning before their colleagues go to work. when a hard-working day is over, it is a party time. they rush to the place all together. this is a typical way for office workers to enjoy their “after 5” in 桜 season. they are lucky to work near 大阪城, which is famous for 桜. i’m not particularly attracted to samurai culture or castles themselves. still, i am loving the majestic view of 大阪城, with fresh green and powder pink patches and surrounded moats as the project is reaching the peak.