Cherries in Japan

Discussion in 'VCBF Neighbourhood Blogs' started by eteinindia, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Hi, Scouts,
    This is Mariko. I came back to Japan for good at the end of September, and now I’m living in the center part of Tokyo. I miss Vancouver a lot, but there are lots of cherry trees in Japan. So I’ll report what I see here.
    I’ve heard in the TV that there were some cherries blooming every month in Japan. Japan is a small country but islands are spread from south (Okinawa, very near to Taiwan) to north (Hokkaido, as north as Toronto). Also there are more than 600 kinds of cherries. I’m not sure about July, August, and September, but I'm sure about other months. In October (Jugatsu) Autumnalis (Jugatus-zakura) starts to bloom, then in November Fuyu-zakura (winter cherry) starts to bloom and it will continue to bloom in December. At the end of January, Cherry blossom festival is held in Okinawa. (I haven’t been to Okinawa but there is a famous park which has about 20000 cherry trees!!)

    Anyway in the middle of October, I visited my parents’ house in Ichikawa (halfway between Tokyo and Narita Airport). There are 2 Autumnalis trees in the near-by park. They were blooming without leaves when other trees and grasses were still very green. They are rather small trees compare to Somei-yoshinos. Flowers were almost white and very small. So they didn’t stand out at all.
    They will bloom in spring again. I heard that spring flowers were pinker than autumn flowers.( I haven’t seen them yet!)
    20091016_Junsai-ikePark_Ichikawa,Chiba-ken_Autumnalis_Izaki 003.jpg 20091016_Junsai-ikePark_Ichikawa,Chiba-ken_Autumnalis_Izaki 010.jpg 20091016_Junsai-ikePark_Ichikawa,Chiba-ken_Autumnalis_Izaki 005.jpg
    20091016_Junsai-ikePark_Ichikawa,Chiba-ken_Autumnalis_Izaki 023.jpg 20091016_Junsai-ikePark_Ichikawa,Chiba-ken_Autumnalis_Izaki 016.jpg

    In the last picture, Autumnalis locates in the right-hand side of willow tree. The left-hand side trees also have no leaves. They are Somei-yoshinos. In Japan some cherry trees lose leaves after hot summer but some cherry trees change colors in November.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2009
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Notice how different this is from 'Autumnalis Rosea'. I have seen the two flowering side by side at Wisley (RHS garden in England) and the 'Autumnalis' there had the same general aspect as the Japanese specimen shown above: a light sprinkling of white-looking flowers on thick twigs versus a comparatively abundant display of definitely pink flowers on a fine-textured tree. You can see why 'Autumnalis Rosea' would become the prevalent one in nurseries over here, with 'Autumnalis' eventually being nearly or actually non-existent. There was a solitary specimen that was probably this latter variety in a Seattle park as late as the 1980s, I think I probably saw it driving by but it was removed before I ever paid it enough attention to have an opinion. Apart from that no other examples are known here (NW USA). I have never seen it in person anywhere in North America.
     
  3. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    On November 3, I went to Shinjuku Gyoen Park to see Autumnalis. Shinjuku Gyoen is a very big park in Shinjuku where Tokyo Metropolitan Government office locates. It’s famous for cherries. I have read there were about 1400 cherry trees of 65 cultivars. The information center at the entrance showed there were 3 kinds of cherries blooming now. They were Kobuku-zakura, Fuyu-zakura and Autumnalis.

    Kobuku-zakura was a very young tree which had not much flowers and they located upper brunches. So I couldn’t see by my eyes well. From far they were very small and rather fluffy. My good camera could take better pictures than I saw. Anyway this was the first time I have heard the name of Kobuku-zakura and seen it. (There was a name plate on the tree.)
    20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Kobuku-zakura_Izaki 001.jpg 20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Kobuku-zakura_Izaki 003.jpg 20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Kobuku-zakura_Izaki 004.jpg
    20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Kobuku-zakura_Izaki 009.jpg 20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Kobuku-zakura_Izaki 010.jpg

    Fuyu-zakura was also a little tree which has small single flowers. Fuyu means winter in Japanese. Fuyu-zakura is one of the famous cherry trees which blooms twice a year, at the beginning of winter and spring. The name Plate said Sanpagawa-no-fuyu-zakura. Because Fuyu-zakura was first found near Sanpa-gawa(river)
    20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Fuyu-zakura_Izaki 001.jpg 20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Fuyu-zakura_Izaki 005.jpg 20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Fuyu-zakura_Izaki 007.jpg

    On the map of the park 2 locations of Autumnalis are printed. So I was expected to see a lot of Autumnalis. But only 3 Autumnalis trees were there and all of them were not very big. (They locate rather shadowy places.)
    20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Autumnalis_Izaki 001.jpg 20091028_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Aurumnalis_Izaki 019.jpg 20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Autumnalis_Izaki 006.jpg

    Shinjuku Gyoen Park is a well-maintained park and it has western and Japanese gardens and wide lawn area.
    20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Izaki 003.jpg 20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Izaki 016.jpg 20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Izaki 031.jpg
    20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Izaki 035.jpg 20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Izaki 008.jpg

    In November there are exhibitions of Kiku (Chrysanthemum). They were wonderful.
    The last picture shows 710 flowers from 1 Chrysanthemum. It’s great.
    20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Izaki 014.jpg 20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Izaki 029.jpg 20091103_ShinjukuGyoenPark_Izaki 022.jpg
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The one you showed in the first post looks like the 'Kobuku-zakura' in the second. I did think the flowers looked too heavy and doubled for 'Autumnalis' but just went with your identification.

    Kuitert 1999 does not mention 'Koboku-zakura' as far as I can see. He lists 'Fuyu-zakura' under Prunus incisa, says the cultivar is thought to be a hybrid with P. serrulata. Based on Jacobson 1996 (who says we seem to have a different clone over here, because ours has hairy leaves) perhaps the most similar thing in North America is 'Fudan-zakura'. I have seen that on park land in Victoria and in a nursery in Oregon.
     
  5. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Ron, you might be right. Now I saw pictures I took in Ichikawa again and I also thought they were too heavy and petals were too wide for Autumnalis. But in my memory they were not as heavy as Kobuku-zakura. I can’t identify without seeing the flowers again. If I have a time, I’d like to visit my parents again.
    But I found a Kobuku-zakura tree in a walking distance from my condo. It has a plate which explains what Kobukuzakura is.
    Kobuku-zakura (Prunus × Kobuku-zakura Ohwi) is thought to be a hybrid with Shina-mi-zakura ( Prunus pseudo-cerasus Lindl. ) and Jugatsu-zakura (Autumnalis) or Edo-higan ( Prunus pendula Maxim.f.ascendens Ohwi ). Kobuku means happiness of having a lot of children. Kobuku-zakura has 1 to 7 pistils in a flower. So 1 to 3 fruits grow from one flower. It will be very easy to identify Kobuku-zakura if I can see flowers closely.
    Ref. from Japanese Web: http://hccweb5.bai.ne.jp/nishicerasus/cera-ka/c-kobuku.html [edited by wcutler: here's this one translated by google]
    : http://www.genetics.or.jp/Sakura/htmls/kobukuzakura.html

    Fuyu-zakura( Prunus × parvifolia Koehne cv. parvifolia ) is a hybrid with Mame-zakura( Prunus incisa Thunb. ). Some web page says Fuyu-zakura and Fudan-zakura are same and they are hybrid with Mame-zakura & Yama-zakura. But some says Fuyu-zakura is a hybrid with Mame-zakura & Oshima-zakura and Fudan-zakura is thought to be a hybrid with Yama-zakura & Oshima-zakura. (The book I gave to Wendy and Douglas says so but in Japanese.)
    Ref. from Japanese Web: http://hccweb5.bai.ne.jp/nishicerasus/cera-hm/c-fuyu.html
    http://hccweb5.bai.ne.jp/nishicerasus/cera-hm/c-fudan.html
    http://www.genetics.or.jp/Sakura/htmls/sanpagawanofuyusakura.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2009
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    >Kobuku-zakura has 1 to 7 pistils in a flower. So 1 to 3 fruits grow from one flower<

    Really?
     
  7. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I haven't seen by my eyes, but the book and also web-pages say that Kobuku-zakura sometimes has plural pistils. Could you see the Japanese web-sites I posted? There is a photo of a flower without petals. There you can see at least 2 pistils in one calyx tube. I don't know how to show it here. I just paste the translated page of the pictuere.

    http://translate.google.ca/translat...p/Sakura/PCD/PCD0339/pages/26.html&hl=en&sa=G
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The part that surprises me is the claim that more than one fruit can result from one flower.
     
  9. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Kobuku-Zakura vs Autumnalis

    On November 9, I went to take photos of Kobuku-zakura near my condo. It locates on Harima-zaka Road. There are about 120 cherry trees in three lanes on Harima-zaka Road. Most of them are Somei-yoshino which were planted on 1960 and they are about 65 years old and very well-maintained. I found 1 Amerika (Akebono) there, too.
    There is only 1 Kobuku-zakura. It isn’t a big tree but unfortunately flowers are too high to reach.

    20091109_Harima-zaka_Bunkyo-ku_Kobuku-zakura_Izaki 005.jpg 20091109_Harima-zaka_Bunkyo-ku_Kobuku-zakura_Izaki 010.jpg 20091109_Harima-zaka_Bunkyo-ku_Kobuku-zakura_Izaki 007.jpg
    As far as I could see from my good camera, they have rather thick (or fat) calyx tubes and short and fat sepals. I couldn't be sure there were 2 or more pistils in 1 flower.
    20091109_Harima-zaka_Bunkyo-ku_Kobuku-zakura_Izaki 014A.jpg 20091109_Harima-zaka_Bunkyo-ku_Kobuku-zakura_Izaki 013A.jpg 20091109_Harima-zaka_Bunkyo-ku_Kobuku-zakura_Izaki 007A.jpg

    On November 11, I visited my parents’ and took photo of (thought-to-be) Autumnalis there. But unfortunately pictures didn’t come well.
    20091110_Junsai-ike_Ichikawa_Autumnalis_Izaki 002AC.jpg 20091110_Junsai-ike_Ichikawa_Autumnalis_Izaki 010A.jpg 20091110_Junsai-ike_Ichikawa_Autumnalis_Izaki 012A.jpg
    Anyway I felt their calyx tubes were thinner and sepals were longer. Flowers have more fragile images. I took one flower and counted the petals. It had 18 petals. The book and Web sites say Kobuku-zakura has 20 to 50 petals and Autumnalis has 10 to 20 petals. So I think Cherry trees near my parents’ are Autumnalis.

    Autumnalis : http://translate.google.ca/translat...ai.ne.jp/nishicerasus/cera-sa/c-zyugatsu.html
    Kobuku-zakura : http://translate.google.ca/translat...nishicerasus/cera-ka/c-kobuku.html&hl=en&sa=G
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  10. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Himaraya-zakura in Koishikawa Botanical Garden
    On November 28, 2009, I visited Koishikawa Botanical Garden to see Himaraya-zakura (Himalayan cherry, Prunus Cerasoides). It was a small tree and single pink flowers were a bit bigger than usual autumn blooming cherries and very beautiful. But the thing which surprised me the most is that new leaves came out with flowers. I wonder they can survive cold winter in Tokyo.
    20091129_KoishikawaBotanicalGarden_Himaraya-zakura_Izaki 023.jpg 20091129_KoishikawaBotanicalGarden_Himaraya-zakura_Izaki 005.jpg 20091129_KoishikawaBotanicalGarden_Himaraya-zakura_Izaki 006.jpg
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    I checked Himaraya-zakura in Web site and the book. It is said Japanese cherries originally came from Himalayan Mountain. Himaraya-zakura is a very unique cherry which blooms in autumn and leaves come out soon after the flowers open. In warm place leaves can survive winter but usually in Tokyo leaves fall soon after they came out at the beginning of winter. In 1960 the King of Nepal presented the seeds of Himaraya-zakura and the original trees in Japan grow from them. Nowadays Himaraya-zakura is getting popular because it is a very ecological plant. Its leaves use more CO² than other trees.

    It was very beautiful day today and it’s a time for coloured leaves in Tokyo. Cherry leaves were orange-red and nearly finishing now. Ginkyo leaves were yellow and Japanese Maples were dark red and they will be at the peak colour in a week.
    20091129_KoishikawaBotanicalGarden_Himaraya-zakura_Izaki 016.jpg 20091129_KoishikawaBotanicalGarden_Himaraya-zakura_Izaki 038.jpg 20091129_KoishikawaBotanicalGarden_Himaraya-zakura_Izaki 031.jpg
     
  11. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    77 Autumnalises
    On December 1, I visited Kohoku Hokubu Ryokudo Park in Adachi City. It is a small local park. I found it in web site, which says there are 210 cherry trees and 60 of them are Autumnalises. Even very famous park like Sinjuku Gyoen which shows the location of Autumnalis on the map has only 3 Autumnalises. So I was wondering there were so many. But there are a lot of Autumnalises in 2 lows in the park.
    20091201_KouhokuhokubuRyokudouPark2_Autumnalis&Fuyuzakura_Izaki 024.jpg 20091201_KouhokuHokubuRyokudouPark_Autumnalis_Izaki 035.jpg 20091201_KouhokuhokubuRyokudouPark2_Autumnalis&Fuyuzakura_Izaki 043.jpg
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    It is a narrow long park under power line and I counted 77 Autumnalises there.
    They were very different from Autumnalis in Sinjuku Gyoen or Junsai Pond Park near my parents’. Flowers were pinker and buds were dark pink. And they bloomed with some coloured leaves. I talked with a resident who was gardening at near-by-house. She said usually they bloomed after leaves fell but this year they started a bit earlier and with some leaves. So they are not as pretty as usual. She regretted that usually flowers stood out more with dark brunches. They were pink even when they started blooming and pink every year. She didn’t know the name of Jugatsu-zakura. She called they Kan-zakura. (means cold season cherry).
    But there was a plate on 1 tree quiet in the middle of the low, which was written ‘Jugatsu-zakura’ in Japanese and ‘Prunus × subhirtella. Miq. cv. Autumnalis’. The plate doesn’t stand out so even the near-by residents don’t know the name of the cherries.
    20091129_KouhokuHokubuRyokudoPark_Autumnalis&Fuyu-zakura_Izaki 058.jpg 20091129_KouhokuHokubuRyokudoPark_Autumnalis&Fuyu-zakura_Izaki 025.jpg 20091201_KouhokuHokubuRyokudouPark_Autumnalis_Izaki 026.jpg
    There is a board which tells about cherries there. This part of Tokyo locates very near to Arakawa River. In Meiji period there were a lot of cherries of many kinds there. About 3000 cherries of 12 kinds were presented to US and planted at Potomac Park in Washington from Arakawa Riverbed. But during World WarⅡ, cherries at Arakawa Riverbed were cut to grow vegetables. Adachi City planed to replanted cherries and in 1971 about 3000 cherry trees of 35 kinds were brought back from Washington and planted in Adachi city. Cherry Trees in the park are a part of them. So they are Autumnalises from USA. But they have a long pistil which sometimes comes out from buds. That is characteristic of Autumnalis.

    As far as I checked in web, there wasn’t any Autumnalis among 3000 cherries presented in 1912. When I saw Web sites of Autumnalis in Japanese, there are both white and pink flowers. There are no Autumnalis rosea in Japanese web. Some say autumn flowers are whiter than spring flowers. But I’m not sure. I found flowers were almost white when they opened and petals are round and wider. But they turned pink and petals become narrower.
    20091201_KouhokuHokubuRyokudouPark_Autumnalis_Izaki 019.jpg 20091129_KouhokuHokubuRyokudoPark_Autumnalis&Fuyu-zakura_Izaki 006.jpg 20091201_KouhokuHokubuRyokudouPark_Autumnalis_Izaki 028.jpg

    There are 3 Fuyu-zakura, too. They are whiter than Autumnalis there. Also coloured leaves of some cherry trees were very beautiful.
    20091201_KouhokuhokubuRyokudouPark2_Autumnalis&Fuyuzakura_Izaki 013.jpg 20091201_KouhokuhokubuRyokudouPark2_Autumnalis&Fuyuzakura_Izaki 008.jpg 20091201_KouhokuhokubuRyokudouPark2_Autumnalis&Fuyuzakura_Izaki 017.jpg

    To go to the park I used Toneri Liner. It is very similler to the sky Train in Vancouver.
    20091201_KouhokuHokubuRyokudouPark_Autumnalis_Izaki 004.jpg
     
  12. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    What an interesting posting, Mariko. Thanks!

    Even not looking as pretty as usual, the trees in the park in your photo are so much more colourful than Autumnalis (or Autumnalis rosea) trees here that it makes me wonder why they were planted here. I can see wondering if they would work and planting a few to see, but surely the answer is "no, they don't really do it here", so no need to have planted any more. There are blossoms now on all the West End Autumnalis rosea trees in Vancouver, but if I were to post a tree photo of any of them, you'd never know there were flowers, and they don't get much showier. There certainly is not any splash of colour, although Douglas Justice disagreed with me when I said that some time ago.
     
  13. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I saw a partial bloom on 'Autumnalis Rosea' down here yesterday. The typical pattern is for full bloom to not occur until end of season, in March.
     
  14. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Kobuku-zakura and Christmas illumination

    Now winter came to Tokyo Area and most of all cherry trees lost their leaves. But Kobuku-zakura on Harima-zaka Road are still blooming. Autumn and winter cherries have very long flower season. But flowers are so small and high up, so not many people notice them.

    20091215_Kobuku-zakura_Harima-zaka_Izaki 006.jpg 20091215_Kobuku-zakura_Harima-zaka_Izaki 004.jpg 20091215_Kobuku-zakura_Harima-zaka_Izaki 005.jpg

    I found one tree which still had leaves there. It had a name plate. It said Kawazu-zakura. Kawazu-zakura is a very famous early blooming cherry located in Kawazu in Izu region (holiday area from Tokyo). It is a small tree and getting popular nowadays. So I can see Kawazu-zakura there in Feburary.

    20091215_Kobuku-zakura_Harima-zaka_Izaki 002.jpg 20091215_Kawazu-zakura_Harima-zaka_Izaki 001A.jpg

    It’s Christmas season now. There are some illumination on Harima-zaka. I believe the city is short of money so they illuminate only 1 center line cherries on just quarter of the road. But locals enjoy illumination. You can see tree shapes very well.
    20091214_Illmination&Kobuku-zakura_Harima-zaka_Izaki 006.jpg 20091214_Illmination&Kobuku-zakura_Harima-zaka_Izaki 012.jpg

    One restaurant on the road did their own illumination just in front of the restaurant. They are beautiful.
    20091214_Illmination&Kobuku-zakura_Harima-zaka_Izaki 010.jpg 20091214_Illmination&Kobuku-zakura_Harima-zaka_Izaki 011.jpg
     
  15. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    December 28, 2009
    I went to the driver’s licence centre in Kannda near Tokyo Station. There was one cherry tree blooming very quiet on the road near the centre. It had white single flowers. I think it is Fuyu-zakura.
     

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  16. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    January 3, 2010
    I went to the park near my parents’ house in Ichikawa. Autumnalis trees there were still blooming, but flowers were very small. They were less than 1 cm and there were not as many flowers as before. The tree didn’t show up as it did in autumn.
     

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  17. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    January 19 to 25(?), 2010
    I saw people were pruning cherry trees on Harima-zaka Road. It is said to be not good to prune cherries. But branches of Somei-yoshino have tendency to hang down. It is not good for street trees because cars might hit and break boughs. Also people were cutting the congested branches and twigs. These prunings and care keep those old cherries very good condition.

    20100120~30_Harima-zaka_Somei-yoshino&Kawazu-zakura_Izaki 001.jpg 20100120~30_Harima-zaka_Somei-yoshino&Kawazu-zakura_Izaki 002.jpg 20100120~30_Harima-zaka_Somei-yoshino&Kawazu-zakura_Izaki 021.jpg

    On January 23, I suddenly noticed the Kawazu-zakura tree there had no leaves and buds became big and green. Some of them were already showing pink colors, too. I’m not quite certain but till the New Year it had leaves. I didn’t walk that side for a while and it changed a lot.

    20100120~30_Harima-zaka_Somei-yoshino&Kawazu-zakura_Izaki 025.jpg 20100120~30_Harima-zaka_Somei-yoshino&Kawazu-zakura_Izaki 029.jpg

    Kobuku-zakura there are still having small flowers.
    20100120~30_Harima-zaka_Somei-yoshino&Kawazu-zakura_Izaki 017.jpg 20100120~30_Harima-zaka_Somei-yoshino&Kawazu-zakura_Izaki 018.jpg
     
  18. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    New Season’s Blooms

    February 4, 2010
    Kawazu-zakura
    20100204_Harima-zaka_Kawazu-zakura_Izaki 009.jpg 20100204_Harima-zaka_Kawazu-zakura_Izaki 005.jpg 20100204_Harima-zaka_Kawazu-zakura_Izaki 007.jpg
    We had a very warm January in Tokyo. But February started with the very cold air. We had a bit of snow at the night of February 1 (just 1 cm). In spite of cold weather Kawazu-zakura on Harima-zaka Road started blooming. Flowers of Kawazu-zakura are single pink flowers of very cute colour. They are a bit darker than Accolade but not as dark as Whitcomb. It very difficult to describe but I feel it has a tint of salmon pink colour.
    In Kawazu, Izu Prefecture, Cherry Blossom Festival is held in February. I thought Kawazu was warmer than Tokyo but it is not. Even in Tokyo Kawadu-zakura blooms in February. Kawazu-zakura is said to be a natural hybrid of Kanhi-zakura and Oshima-zakura.

    Kobuku-zakura there still has some small flowers .
     
  19. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    On February 14, 2010, I went to Shinjuku-Gyoen Park to see Kan-zakura and Ume (Mume, Japanese apricot). Feburary is Mume's season in Japan.

    I saw 3 Kan-zakura trees(there must be a few more trees) and they were full in bloom. Kan-zakura (Cerasus X kanzakura) is earliest blooming cherry in Japan except autumn cherries. Flowers have very short stems and blooms a lot together and very congested.
    20100214_Shinjuku-gyoen_Kanzakura1_Izaki 003.jpg 20100214_Shinjuku-gyoen_Kan-zakura2_Izaki 018.jpg 20100214_Shinjuku-gyoen_Kanzakura1_Izaki 004.jpg
    20100214_Shinjuku-gyoen_Kan-zakura2_Izaki 023.jpg 20100214_Shinjuku-gyoen_Kanzakura1_Izaki 006.jpg

    Lots of people came to take pictures of flowers and birds which come to flowers to eat honey.Small green birds are Mejiro (Japanese white-eye, Zosterops Japonica) and big one is Hiyo-dori (Bulbul, Hypsipetes amaurotis).
    20100214_Shinjuku-gyoen_Kan-zakura2_Izaki 007.jpg 20100214_Shinjuku-gyoen_Kan-zakura2_Izaki 009.jpg 20100214_Shinjuku-gyoen_Kan-zakura2_Izaki 028.jpg

    There are some small Kawazu-zakuras. They were just started to bloom. They were slower than one on Harima-zaka.
    20100214_Shinjuku-gyoen_Kan-zakura1_Izaki 001.jpg 20100214_Shinjuku-gyoen_Kanzakura1_Izaki 015.jpg 20100214_Shinjuku-gyoen_Kan-zakura1_Izaki 006.jpg

    Autumnalis there was still blooming just a little. Kobuku-zakura had finished blooming.
    20100214_Shinjuku-gyoen_Jugatsu-zakura_Izaki 001.jpg 20100214_Shinjuku-gyoen_Jugatsu-zakura_Izaki 003.jpg

    Somei-yoshino and other cherries showed winter shapes. No buds came yet.
    Mumes there were just started blooming and not worth viewing yet.I was so disappointed.
    20100214_Shinjuku-gyoen_Somei-yoshino_Izaki 002.jpg 201002014_Shinjuku-gyoen_Izaki 015.jpg

    I thought Mumes in Koishikawa Botanical Garden were blooming more and decided to go checking. But unfortunately when I came out from the subway, weather had changed and so I went to see Kawazu-zakura on Harima-zaka but didn’t enter the botanical garden.From outside I could see Mumes blooming more.
    20100214_Harima-zaka_Kawadu-zakura_Izaki 004.jpg 20100210_Harima-zakaRoad_Kawadu-zakura_Izaki 007.jpg 201002014_KoishikawaBotanicalGarden_Izaki 002.jpg
     
  20. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I became a life-time member of Koishikawa Botanical Garden. Membership is so cheap if you live near-by. Just about $350 you can enter the garden with 2 guests freely for lifetime! I think it is a one reason that they are short of the money for maintenance. Cherries there are not pruned nicely. Cherries on Harima-zaka look much healthier than ones in the Botanical Garden.
    On February 20 and 25, 2010, I visited the garden.

    Kan-zakura was just over the full bloom on 20th.
    20100220_KoishikawaBotanicGarden3_Kan-zakura 001.jpg 20100220_KoishikawaBotanicGarden3_Kan-zakura 004.jpg 20100220_KoishikawaBotanicGarden3_Kan-zakura 007.jpg
    But on 25th some flowers had already fallen.
    20100225_KoishikawaBG3_Kan-zakura, Kanzaki-Ohshima&Mame-zakura 001.jpg 20100225_KoishikawaBG3_Kan-zakura, Kanzaki-Ohshima&Mame-zakura 002.jpg

    Buds of Kanhi-zakura (Cerasus campanulata )became red but not opened on 20th.
    Kanhi-zakura is a maternal tree of Okame but much bigger than Okame. Kan means cold time and hi means red.
    20100220_KoishikawaBotanicGarden1_Kanhi-zakura 001.jpg 20100220_KoishikawaBotanicGarden1_Kanhi-zakura 003.jpg
    It started to bloom on 25th.
    20100225_KoishikawaBotanicGarden_Kanhi-zakura 001.jpg 20100225_KoishikawaBotanicGarden_Kanhi-zakura 004.jpg

    Leaves of Himaraya-zakura survived the winter of Tokyo and very healthy.
    20100225_KoishikawaBotanicGarden2_Himaraya-zakura 001.jpg 20100220_KoishikawaBotanicGarden2_Himaraya-zakura 003.jpg

    But other cherries shows winter form yet even on 25th. Only buds of Mame-zakura and Kanzaki-ohshima showed the color.
    20100225_KoishikawaBG3_Kan-zakura, Kanzaki-Ohshima&Mame-zakura 006.jpg 20100225_KoishikawaBG3_Kan-zakura, Kanzaki-Ohshima&Mame-zakura 010.jpg 20100225_KoishikawaBG3_Kan-zakura, Kanzaki-Ohshima&Mame-zakura 005.jpg

    February is the month for Ume (Mume, Japanese apricot, Prunus Mume). There are many Mume festivals. Koishikawa Botanical Garden is famous for Mume. There are more than 50 kinds of Mume in the Garden.
    20100225_KoishikawaBotanicGarden 005.jpg 20100225_KoishikawaBotanicGarden 009.jpg 20100225_KoishikawaBotanicGarden 014.jpg

    You can see Kingfisher and Egret (white heron?) in the garden.
    20100225_KoishikawaBotanicGarden 017.jpg 20100225_KoishikawaBotanicGarden 022.jpg

    Kawazu-zakura on Harima- zaka was full bloom on February 20.
    20100220_Harima-zaka_Kawazu-zakura 001.jpg 20100220_Harima-zaka_Kawazu-zakura 005.jpg
    And green leaves grew more on 25th.
    20100225_Harima-zaka_Kawazu-zakura 001.jpg 20100225_Harima-zaka_Kawazu-zakura 002.jpg
     
  21. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    On March 1, I went to Koishikawa Korakuen. It is a historical garden made about 370 years ago. It is famous for Mume. But it wasn’t very nice because there is Korakuen Amusement Park (something like P.N.E) just next to it. You’ll hear screams of a Roller Coaster when you are walking Japanese Garden and you’ll see a Baseball Dome just behind the garden.
    Anyway, there weren’t so much cherries blooming.
    There are a few Kanhi-zakura just started blooming.
    20100301_KoishikawaKohrakuen_Kanhi-zakura_Izaki 001.jpg 20100301_KoishikawaKohrakuen_Kanhi-zakuraIzaki 002.jpg 20100301_KoishikawaKohrakuen_Izaki 003.jpg
    20100301_KoishikawaKohrakuen_Izaki 004.jpg

    There are young Ohkan-zakuras just started blooming. That cultivar was new to me. It has not many flowers. But flowers are beautiful pale pink and bigger than other early blooming cherries.
    20100301_KoishikawaKohrakuen_Izaki 010.jpg 20100301_KoishikawaKohrakuen_Izaki 013.jpg 20100301_KoishikawaKohrakuen_Izaki 015.jpg

    Fuyu-zakura had finished blooming.
    There was a bird like Grey Heron. But it didn’t stretch its neck because of the coldness.
    Mume was beyond the peek time but still blooming.
    20100301_KoishikawaKohrakuen_Izaki 007.jpg 20100301_KoishikawaKohrakuen_Izaki 002.jpg
     
  22. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    On March 2, I went to Kamakura to see Mume with my friends. The weather wasn’t good and rather very cold.
    There were some Kawazu-zakuras blooming. There was one Kawazu-zakura in full bloom at the side of the staircase of Hachimangu shrine.
    20100302_Kamakura_Izaki 013.jpg

    There was Ohkan-zakura just started blooming. It was a very young tree. It didn't have a lot of flowers this year.
    20100302_Kamakura_Izaki 021.jpg 20100302_Kamakura_Izaki 022.jpg 20100302_Kamakura_Izaki 023.jpg

    There was one Ginkgo in Hathimangu Shrine. You can see it at the left of the staircase in this picture. It was more than 1000 years old. But unfortunately there was a storm and strong wind on the early morning of March 10, and the tree collapsed from the root.
    20100302_Kamakura_Izaki 015.jpg

    Mume
    20100302_Kamakura_Izaki 003.jpg 20100302_Kamakura_Izaki 006.jpg
     
  23. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Short version - why has the flowering cherry been so popular in Japan?

    I know they look great when blooming. Is there more to the story than just the nice looking flowers? Any symbolism or anything like that?
     
  24. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Sorry, Mr. Vaden. I couldn’t reply soon. It’s a very difficult question even in Japanese. I’m not sure I can explain in English, but I’ll try.

    Japanese love cherries, especially Somei-yoshino, single cherry very much.
    First of all, Somei-yoshinos bloom all together and fall off all together. Japanese likes ‘all together’.
    Cherries blooming all over are beautiful and falling cherries are also very beautiful. Cherry blossoms can change the scenery completely. Falling petals, floating with the wind and covering the ground are also very beautiful and very impressive.
    Blooming time of cherries is very short (especially in Japan). Japanese feel the pathos of life in Cherries. It affects Japanese view of life. ‘All who prosper must decline.’

    Also cherries fall off by petals. People say Samurai warriors hated Camellias because Camellia flowers fall off by flowers. It reminds beheading. Cherries fall off by petals. It is very good.

    Japanese love Somei-yoshino and don’t care about double cherries so much. Somei-yoshinos bloom all together without leaves are very beautiful and they have 5 petals. They don’t have extra petals usually. They are very well-regulated. Japanese love regulation. Also I think 5 is a good number for Japanese. It is a half of 10. A set of dishes consists of 5 dishes in Japan. Japanese currency uses 1, 5, 10 , 50, 100 and 500 coins and bills of 1000, 5000. and 10000 only. There’s no 20s or quarters. Marks of Cherries in Japan have 5 petals and very simple design. When I saw the mark of Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival first, I didn’t think it is a cherry flower.

    Also cherries represent the beginning of new season, new period and new life. Japanese school year and financial year start from April. Entering School Ceremonies and Joining a company ceremonies are held when cherries bloom. So many people have good memories with cherries.
    Cherry-viewing parties are held under cherry blossoms, too. People eat and drink under cherry trees. (In Japan drinking in public places are not prohibited.) Some people are waiting cherry season for that reason.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2010
  25. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    First Somei-yoshino in Japan started blooming in Kouch, in Shikoku Island on March 10, 2010.

    Weather of Japan on March 10, 2010 was in an uproar. In Tokyo area, it snowed a little and there were gales just before dawn. Because of the heavy wind, 1000 years old Ginkgo collapsed in Kamakura. Many planes are cancelled all over Japan.
    It snowed even in Kyushu (one of the 4 main island of Japan which locates south west) a few centimetres.
    In Aomori, very north part of Main Island, it snowed 61 cm and it was a record in March.
    But some parts of Japan, it became very warm and in kouch, south-end of Shikoku Island which locates south of Main Island, Somei-yoshino started blooming. It was tie-record of early blooming.
     

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