My mom, step-dad, and a couple they are friends with went on an awesome cruise that started in Tokyo, went around to near where I live in Aomori prefecture, and then on to Hokkaido, Russia, and a few stops in Alaska before ending in Vancouver. My sister came along with my parents and then stayed with me while they were on the cruise. The timing of their cruise worked out perfectly for the sakura viewing at Hirosaki castle. We drove up and picked them up at the port, headed to see Big Buddha in Aomori, and then drove down to Hirosaki.
The pictures really speak for themselves, but like most beautiful things in nature, these can't do it justice. It was a beautiful day. The park was packed with visitors. There were many good foods to choose from.
Here you can really get an idea of the large crowds.
I love to see the river covered in cherry blossom petals.
Here you can see what is known as hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, which is often done with a picnic.
Here I am with Ryan, sitting in the same spot we sat in to take a picture a couple of years back.
This is one of my favorite views.
We managed to get a view of the snow capped mountain nearby.
Here is another one of us.
Since I have been to Tokyo so many times I ended up not taking many pictures while I was there with my family. They took pictures but I passed and instead was busy playing the role of tour guide. I wanted to really show them as much as possible during the few days they were visiting. We managed to fit in a lot and it was a great trip. Really glad they were able to make it over to Japan before we moved.
QUESTIONS: Did you see the cherry blossoms this year? If you live away from family, how often do they come visit?