Tuesday, April 21, 2009

zoheikyoku

Every year after the majority of sakura (cherry) trees have bloomed, the zoheikyoku (Mint of Japan) has their cherry blossom viewing. The types of trees that the Mint has are the double cherry, which usually blooms later than the single type.

From what I understand there are 3 Mints, the main one in Osaka, and smaller ones in Tokyo and Hiroshima.

The first time Satoshi and I went to this cherry viewing was pre-blog and a really bad experience.

For one thing, they make you walk one way through the property. Not knowing this at that time, we had walked through the crowds of people that ran parallel to the Mint--through the food booths and games that you usually see at festivals in Japan, and ended up at the exit to the event. The security guard told us if we wanted to see the blossoms we would have to turn around, go back through the crowd and start over...ugh!

So, after that experience, we never went back to check this place out...until yesterday.

It was a really sunny day...to the tune of 27C (80.6F). We followed the line of people to the Mint and were corralled through the walkways of the property to view the blossoms.

Throughout the walkways, they had security guards blasting us with their megaphones, telling us "not to stop to take photos or stop to look at the blossoms, but enjoy yourselves".....WT?! (picture of one of the mood breakers) Of course, most of us just ignored them and snapped away...

Within the 560 meters of walkway there are 126 different species and 348 cherry trees. (They also have a museum, but it wasn't open while we were there.)

Every year they pick a species as "the tree of the year", this year was the "hirano-nadeshiko", which I wish I could show you a photo of, but the signage was bad so we couldn't figure out which tree it was and of course, I couldn't "stop to photograph" it....sigh.

So, despite the bad taste in our mouths with this event, we got to see some beautiful cherry blossoms for the last time this year.

They only have this event for a week and are also open in the evenings for night time viewing...though I think we've had our fill of these types of viewings (the kind where everyone is at) and will probably stick to those places where we can view the blossoms at our leisure and maybe with more elbow room. I'll post more photos on Flickr.

Zoheikyoku (Osaka Mint)
1-1-79 Tenma
Phone: 050.5548.8686
located near the Tenmabashi station

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

まったく同感!
’立ち止まって写真を撮るな’とか’立ち止まって花を見るな’とか
英語や中国語でもウンザリするほどガナリ立てて、
バカじゃないの?って感じで見物客は皆笑ってましたネw
あと、the signageにも銘記してあったけど、
そもそも造幣局の通り抜けは”(お上が)庶民にも観せてやる”っていうような趣旨で
始まったみたいで、今でも見下した印象を受けますね
この態度を変えさせないといけないでしょうねw
Sorry,I can't write in English well.So in japanese.

K and S said...

Thanks Anon,
I am glad you feel the same way :)

Take care.
Kat

Debinhawaii said...

It's too bad they had to make it so controlled but it looks like you managed to get some really beautiful pictures even if you couldn't completely enjoy yourselves as "instructed"! ;-)

K and S said...

Thanks Deb, I guess I am not too good at "following directions" :p

Take care.
Kat

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

I can't believe they have a don't stop to photograph rule! Photographing sakura is a national passtime!

K and S said...

Thank you Melanie, believe me, we couldn't believe it either :0

Take care.
Kat

2kamuela47 said...

Beautiful pictures!

K and S said...

Thanks Laura :)

Take care.
Kat

Rowena... said...

I'm going to have to leave it up to my imagination to envision how beautiful this must have been. Given the hoards that were there - numbers don't lie! A real phooey for not being able to take pictures though. I get peeved enough that I can't photograph anything at the supermarket.

K and S said...

I know! Rowena, I get peeved at not being able to do that in the supermarkets here too, actually I really want one of the ladies at the entrance of the department stores bowing to the first customers!

Take care.
Kat

Lori said...

I can't believe they said don't stop to take pictures...OR stop to look at the blossoms! Isn't that why everyone is there? Well thanks for risking getting caught by security to share this with us. I wish we had been able to go to Kyoto and Osaka on this past trip, but it was pretty much just Tokyo this time.

K and S said...

Sad yeah?? I hope you got to see some cherry blossoms in Tokyo, Lori :)

Take care.
Kat

manju said...

You're not kidding about the mood breakers.... yeeesh, don't slow down or take pictures, but enjoy yourself? I'm sorry it was a disappointment that way. The photos you snapped are great, though. I hope you do get to see the blossoms here in DC one day... because they're so spread out, you can take all the time in the world to enjoy them! : )

K and S said...

Thanks Manju, we do want to see the blooms in DC one day! Hopefully we'll be able to do this soon :)

Take care.
Kat