Springtime Flowers!

This past week spring has hit full force here in Takinoue! Here’s a sampling of some of the flowers I’ve come across while walking around town in this lovely warm weather.

First, I took a trip to the shrine to check out, of course, the cherry blossoms!

These pictures were taken mostly at the Takinoue shrine, which is beautiful even without the sakura blooming!

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photo by Matthew Jones

Of course, the daffodils and tulips are gorgeous right now!

This white flowering tree is called kobushi, and it’s the first time in 10 years it has bloomed! They only bloom when we have a mild winter, so it’s very lucky to be able to see them this year!

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These are called ezoengosaku. They bloom very low to the ground, and I really love them.

There’s still a lot blooming, and this is only the start of spring! The shibazakura have started, too- I can’t wait for them to come in fully!

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Spring is coming!

Monday was the first official day of spring, and Takinoue is really starting to show some headway in that direction. It’s still chilly, but for almost a week every day has been above zero- even though we got a little dusting of snow last night. Spring always takes a long time to settle in and for all of the snow to melt, but for now I’ve just been enjoying the (slightly) warmer weather and blue skies.

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I took the time to take a walk around, soak up the sun, and check out the Shokotsu river. This is one of the bigger waterfalls in town; in the summer, the spray reaches all the way to where I was standing to take this picture. The river is starting to thaw, and the waterfall is starting to flow again!

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This view is visible just down the road from my house, standing on the bridge near one of the local hotels. I love coming here and seeing how the seasons change; it’s gorgeous year-round. I feel really energized with the weather creeping warmer; the winter was wonderful, but I’m ready for spring!

Nighter at Sakuragaoka

Last night I hit the jackpot- during the day we had a little bit of snow, just enough to coat everything in a couple of centimeters of the super-fluffy stuff. It was very beautiful, but also a welcome change from the past week- it’s been very warm, and as a result everywhere the snow accumulated and hadn’t yet melted was solid ice. So, skiing for the past week hasn’t been a ton of fun.

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Sorry the bad quality pic- my iphone just wasn’t up to the challenge

But! Last night was awesome! The snow was dry and soft, it wasn’t bitterly cold, almost no wind. And, somehow, I managed to be the only person on the ski hill for almost the entire time I was there, so I got to goof off and use the entire hill. I even took some time to just stand there and look at our little town, and enjoy how quiet and peaceful it was.

The season is winding down, and soon spring will be here to stay- but for now, it’s nice to still squeeze in these little quiet moments.