The cherry blossoms were in full-bloom yesterday so I took a trip to Heian Shrine in Kyoto for Hanami (flower viewing). Hanami is a yearly custom for many Japanese, although because of the recent earthquake some have been asking people to abstain from holding parties outside.
Because of this many yozakura (night cherry blossom) events were cancelled in my area, which I think is a shame. Firstly, because the power shortages don't effect this area of Japan and secondly, because these events would have given a much needed boost to the struggling economy.
Anyway, this was a good chance to try out my new Pentax K-5 (you can see I'm doing my bit for the economy ;-)).
Torii gate leading to Heian-Jingu.
Shidare-zakura (weeping cherry blossom) in the garden.
A prayer tablet left by a man wishing for "a steady job and a woman".
Somei-yoshino (Yoshino cherry tree)
A shop called "child" selling children's toys and cigarettes. I gave it a miss..
April 15th, 2011
Kyoto was one of my fav cities when visiting Japan. I particularly liked that mellow neighborhoods near the royal palace, fantastic for a walk. Did you know there is a free cafe right by this palace where you can get free coffe, tees, orange juice and rice crackers? Totally worth it!