This week in Japan is literally Golden. It’s the week that Japan’s hardworking people down tools and techy stuff, do lots of shopping, give gifts to loved ones and enjoy time at home with family. I’ve been fortunate to be in Japan during Golden Week more than once and enjoyed the feeling of euphoria that we in the west know as Christmas. Indeed, I was in Tokyo last year when I created a live painting of Ginza for a design-led retailer: Plaza Lifestyle
But the Japanese have something else to be joyful about … cherry blossom. The annual flowering of cherry trees is a big event in Japan aka Sakura. Frothy pink cherry trees line the streets and people promenade under the magenta and baby pink arbours. People picnic in the park, sitting under the blossoming trees, whilst pink petals fall down on them like girly snow. You can find cherry trees in most of my illustrations of Japanese cities.
They’re in full bloom in Ueno Koen Park in Tokyo:
Petals and cherry trees in full bloom circle around the castle and Maizuru Park in my illustration of Fukuoka.
Sakura isn’t just celebrated in Japan however. On a recent trip to Amsterdam the five hundred plus cherry blossom trees were in full swing, which as a tree pollen allergy sufferer, means that I don’t quite have the same enthusiasm as the Japanese for this tree species. Cherry blossoms fall all around the world including in Dasher’s vision of Toronto, where a red cardinal and squirrel play amongst the petals.
Closer to home, the landscaped grounds of Keele University are renowned for its avenues of cherry trees, which must look spectacular right now. What a beautiful place to study!
Even closer to home, I have several blossoming trees in my garden: 3 apple, two plum and one greengage but no cherry! I can therefore enjoy seeing the pretty petals fall whilst I draw my Cityscapes without the agony of allergy.