Oh happy day-and happier heart! The cherry blossoms have joined the ume and are in bloom. These are special cherry blossoms, though. Kawazu sakura is the type of cherry blossom which starts blooming earlier than other trees, usually in early February, and has long-lasting blooming period-usually a month. It's different from other cherry blossoms, with larger petals a deeper pink color.
This morning I ventured out well before book club to visit a particular shrine to see some of these beautiful blooms. Sakura Jingu Shrine is located in Setagaya and holds one of the loveliest displays of sakura in Tokyo. They frame the shrine, draping beautifully with blossoms as well as wishes.
The left-most tree is currently a pink of many hues-mostly due to the wishes written on the ribbons tied to the branches. It's created the prettiest pockets of more vibrant pink, the silky ribbons floating on the February breeze as wishes are wisked away. I couldn't believe how much prettier it was in person!
Getting a goshuin was a must, of course, and to avoid a line-or crowd in general-I was at the shrine before it opened to take my pictures, get a few videos, then get in line. It went very quick-less than five minutes-and the stamp at Sakura Jingu? Absolutely stunning!
Between the gold ink and beautifully pink blossoms it is officially my favorite stamp!
I suspect I'll collect more precious goshuin during this season of sakura, but these early days? They're especially lovely! You could say, the cherry blossom on top.