sakura, act 1, 2, 3
next on our to do list: search for or sakuras.
from taenoyu, we moved on to hanamaki onsen in iwate. hanamaki onsen was more a hotel than a traditional ryokan. nevertheless, it was a good base from which to conduct our sakura sleuthing.
our first stop was the tensochi park at kitakami. from the iwate station, we took a train and then a bus to the park. it was drizzly and overcast but that didn’t deter a single tourist. i can assure you it was very crowded although you don’t see that many people in the photos below. took me considerable time and skill to manoeuvre to positions where the crowds could be cropped out.
after kitakami, we moved to morioka for round 2. though the sakura trees were not closely clustered like at the park, they were everywhere in the city. and morioka had something the rest didn’t have. a 400 year old sakura tree that grew out of a rock and has been designated a national treasure. they call it – ishiwarizakuara, meaning rock-splitting sakura. we walked from one of the castle exits to the rock-splitting cherry tree. not far, took us 15 minutes and we discovered a whole backyard of cherry trees.
our last stop was takamatsu no ike pond, where they had planted 1000 cherry blossom trees. it was a beautiful place to have a walk, a jog or simply to just laze around. in the distance, we could make out the outline of mount iwate when the mist/fog/clouds didn’t interfere.
i could just walk around the lake forever but we had to catch the bus and train to head back to hotel before nightfall. on the way, more beautiful scenery.
after this, back to tokyo!