Cherry Blossom Shower

Cherry blossoms at Osaka Castle, Osaka, Japan.

What is it about cherry blossoms that attract such an ardent following each year? Is it the delicate white and pink flowers that seem to smile at you? Or is it the glorious petal shower that descends like snowflakes when the wind blows? Or maybe it’s simply the scarcity of it, a hide-and-seek appearance that happens only once a year and lasts around two weeks.

These days you don’t have to fly all the way to Japan to see cherry blossoms. Many cities have their own cherry blossom trees, like in New York City and Washington DC. If you miss the season in March, you can head to Australia to try your luck in September as well. You could even plant one in your backyard if you have the right climate and soil conditions.

That said, where else would you get to see the trees against a backdrop of Meiji-era houses or the magnificent Osaka Castle? Only in Japan, of course. The trees may look the same, but the backdrop sure isn’t. To get the most authentic cherry blossom viewing experience, Japan is the only choice. So much for reducing the carbon footprint…

Read more about my trip to Osaka in:
Osaka Part 1: A City With Character


Osaka Part 2: A Dive Into The Kaiyukan

MARCH 2008… I thought the Osaka Aquarium, also known as the Kaiyukan, deserved a piece on its own with all the fantastic pictures I took. I’m not an expert on ocean life, so honestly, all aquariums look more or less the same to me – aka a place to see fish. But I still like… Continue reading Osaka Part 2: A Dive Into The Kaiyukan

Osaka Part 1: A City With Character

MARCH 2008… Osaka is somewhat similar to Tokyo, yet different. It is also a major city (the third largest in Japan), but it has less of the modern skyscrapers and less of the sometimes-oppressing crowds. Instead, its pace is more moderate, its buildings more traditional and you actually feel like you have some space to… Continue reading Osaka Part 1: A City With Character