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Sakura Spring Time

Written on: Monday April 14th, 2008

A journal entry from: Japan

I don't know if I've ever experienced a spring as lovely as spring in Japan. It feels like the perfect season for this place. Over the past month or two trees have begun showing off their flowers - first plum, then in March, the cherry trees ("sakura"). The image of sakura in the spring is an important part of the culture here. And there are cherry trees everywhere. There's a couple in the field behind my apartment, in the elementary school field across the way, dotting the hills surrounding the town, on the main street near the stores, in people's yards, and next to many temples or shrines or graveyards.

I am loving the sakura trees, fully. I have even begun to think of the colour pink differently because of them (never been a big pink fan).

One of the things I really like about Japan is that things are done fairly seasonally here. People seem to be a little more conscious of things like the spring blossoms and the fall leaves compared to back home. I mean, people back home certainly notice and enjoy these things, but here the level of consciousness about it is a bit more explicit. (The seasonal mentality also means that you have to buy clothes or foods or your favorite flavour of ice cream or certain foods when they're in season, cause they won't be available at other times of the year.)

So, the cherry trees are a big thing. The traditional thing to do is "Ohanami", which translates basically as "flower looking". People often point out any sakura they pass by to their friends, but they also go visit spots like parks or temples that have cherry trees to just enjoy the sight of them, and usually bring some lunch and some beer or wine to enjoy. So, basically, a picnic with the express purpose of enjoying spring flowers. Some places have booths selling food like at a fair or public event. Imagine, a public but decentralized major event every year just to enjoy the season changing and the appearance of a very beautiful natural phenomena. I have to say, some things about Japanese culture are right up my ally!

But the blossoms don't last long. I had wanted to spend a lot of time the last couple weeks off wandering around looking for good spots, but unfortunately the weather has been a bit against me. We've only had a few good days of weather the last couple weeks; the rest of the time has been cold and raining hard, a few days with strong winds too. The trees around here have all dropped most of their petals and gone green. I have spent a couple mornings in the area finding some great spots. And I did get out to Mishima Taishan (the main shrine there) which is well-known in Japan for it's spring sakura. Also, a famous Japanese baseball player whose name I can't remember was married there. It's actually kind of a famous place, right next door. It was simply gorgeous.

I've heard there are a few places in the mountains where the blossoms will only just begin coming out soon; maybe I'll try to go see them.



From Bambang on Mar 27th, 2012

Hi, great progress bar .. works pfecert .just an addition if you need the progress bar to change to a specific colour only at 100% (in my case red) here are the changes:in bramus/jsProgressBarHandler.js function:_setBgPosition: function(percentage)change var newBackIndex tovar newBackIndex= Math.floor((percentage-1) / (100/(this.options.barImage.length-1)));and add after that :if (percentage == 100){var newBackIndex = this.options.barImage.length-1;}so the way it works is it will cause the last image in your list of images for the progress bar to only show at 100 percent other than that whatever other images you use will work as it did before e.g. if i was using the example code where there are 4 images first one is a green bar, second yellow, thrid orange and fourth red, this new code will cause green to load until 33%, yellow until 66% and orange until 99% and red at 100%.