Cherry Blossom Mountain.

At the bequest of my galpal, Hisako, I found myself on Hanamiyama in Fukishima-City yesterday. It takes about 90 minutes to get there by train and then a short shuttle-bus trip to the mountain (we could have driven and then upon arrival, discovered that it was up to an hour's wait to park. We made the correct choice.) Upon the mountain are some of the loveliest blossoms imaginable. The さくら sakura (cherry blossoms) and 桃ノ花 momo no hana (peach blossoms) were in full bloom and when mixed with the レンギョウrengyou (forsythia) and ボケ boke (Japanese flowering quince) are quite the sight.

First up lots of rengyou (and though I didn't explain why, I did hum the chant, "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo", Randy Quaid's chant from The Last Detail). My mother grew some forsythia but not in quantities like this!

There's a good segue picture to Peach blossoms.

And a similar segue to Boke (Quince, which look like a Rose-tree to me and my joke about a bouquet went over my friend's head.)

The main attraction, Blossoming Cherries, were almost in full bloom, perhaps a few days before.

There's a choice between a 40, 50 or 65 minute trek up the mountain and since it was such a wonderful day, we made it to the peak. Here are some panoramic shots of Fukushima-city.

Finally, some miscellaneous flower shots and of some stuff I thought was funky enough to snap a pic of.

Hey, look! It's Sazae-san!

After a 30-minute wait for the bus and our 90-minute return trip, we had dinner at the Spanish restaurant, Tapas. I had a beer with apricot in it (yummy enough but a little pricy.) The pizza and salad were nice but the bearded breaded shrimp were not so great.

We ended the evening with a shot of some Sendai's famous Penguin-Samurai.

A nice day, great weather (about 21 degrees!) and now back to the daily drudgery...

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