Friday, May 08, 2009

芝桜の丘 pink moss knoll

There's always something new, something fresh sprouting up somewhere. Last month was hanami one after another. The sakura fever is a deadly one, striking its victims once a year and leaves an addictive itch. Once struck, the victim will try to go for as many hanami as possible to capture the best flowers in the best parks. Once gone, the victim will never be able to see the cherry blossoms anymore, for the flowers bloom for only a short while.

When the fever subsides, so does the commotion and hype at the countless hanami viewing spots all over the country. As the flowers fly away blown by the wind, green buds appear and leaves burst forth from where the flowers once were, making everything seem alive again.

Without the cherry blossoms hogging the limelight, other spring flowers have a chance to show off their brilliant colours. They are mainly found on the ground, amongst shoots of leaves and hidden among foliage. Spring is just too good a season to stay indoors.

Just when we thought there were no more sakura's to be seen, we found another type called the shibazakura (芝桜), which translates to pink moss.

Even though the kanji consists of the word sakura, and the flowers themselves are of the pinkish and purple variety too, they look more delicate than those that grow on trees.

Date : 2 May 2009
Time : 12 noon~
Daytime temperature : 22-30 degrees Celcius
Location : Chichibu 秩父市・羊山公園

I was tempted to skip this one since I almost had an overdose of sakura flowers from last month, more so when I found out that it was going to take 2 hours' of train ride. But I had told myself, my job now was to enjoy the spring weather as much as I can, and if it was something unique and worth my time and effort, then it's good for memories too.

From what was supposed to be only 5 of us, the group swelled up to 17 students (yes, I'm an honourary affiliate of Waseda!) from various universities in Tokyo. The weather was unusually hot, almost felt like summer. Speaking of weather, it sometimes seem as if winter skipped spring and went ahead to summer. Some of us who spent more time admiring the purple lawn got slightly burnt.

Not sure whether it was because we arrived slightly towards the end of the shibazakura season, but we were rather disappointed to find that the pink moss did not look like how it was supposed to. There were some patches which showed grass instead of flowers. And it was krazy packed, everyone was everywhere.

Even Miss Gothic Lolita came and sat under the blazing afternoon sun to enjoy the shibazakura too.


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