Monday, May 2, 2011

Hirosaki Castle & Mt Iwaki

With spring comes a new beginning for Japan and what a better way to embrace it, than with the celebration of Golden week and the Cherry Blossom Festivals.  Hirosaki Castle is by far the best place to view the "Sakura" in Aomori Prefecture with thousands of trees throughout the park.  We spent most of the day and even went back at night for some more bloom-peeping time as they light up the trees. Even in the rain the younger-adults party hard into the weee--hours of the morning with their sake and umbrellas amongst the tress.  Some say that we shouldn't party or celebrate in such times, but I think you have to be thankful for what you have and enjoy your life to the fullest as you only get one shot at it. "Keep calm and carry on"  On Sunday we took a quick side trip up to the base of Mt. Iwaki for an onsen and to check out the Iwakiyama Shrine which originated in 780.  One of my favorite Shines I have been to thus far, with its closeness to nature built right in to the forest at the base of Mt Iwaki.

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