First it was the plum blossoms, then the cherry blossoms, then the tulips, and now the azaleas are stealing the show!
I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since the sakura departed. I’ve been up to my neck in work and other things lately, and the blossoms already seem like a distant memory. The sakura trees are now full of lush green leaves, and although the weather has been pretty terrible lately, the warmth is slowly returning. The cold seems to last for so long, and there’s nothing worse than being cooped up indoors all the time. Every spring, I’m like “I can’t wait for summer!”. I dream of being able to sit outside on my balcony on balmy evenings, and hang out with friends at rooftop beer gardens and local summer festivals… But then summer hits, always so abruptly, and you suddenly feel like it’s too hot and humid to do anything. In the end, I probably I find myself saying “I can’t wait for autumn!” more than anything else!
Regardless of the temperature, there is one constant that I love and appreciate: flowers! There is always some bright and cheerful flower in bloom somewhere. In an abstract kind of way, the different varieties taking it in turns to spring to life, is like nature’s dance. And we are lucky enough to witness it.
The other day I grabbed a friend and headed for Nezu Shrine to check out their annual azalea festival. We were a tad early for the peak but it was still a beautiful sight to see. It’s not a big garden, but it’s spread across a bank so you can stand at the bottom and look up or vice versa. The dome shaped shrubs were so compact and cute, and we loved the very cool striped pink flowers. The shrine has a row of torii gates like Fushimi Inari in Kyoto and on weekends, food stalls are set up selling things like delicious sake manju (steamed buns with red bean paste).