On April 2nd, the cherry blossoms were headed into full bloom, and o-hanami (blossom viewing) had begun. My friends and I were thrilled to be able to participate in such a nationwide event, and so we planned our weekends carefully to see them. We began o-hanami by going to a night viewing, which means the buildings and blossoms are lit up at night. I’d also been to a night viewing during the fall for the autumn colors, and such events are usually very colorful and interesting (although the pictures usually don’t come out very well.)

Nijo Castle is in the northern Kyoto, on the way up to Kitano Tenmagu shrine. I hope to go back there during the daytime. Unfortunately, many of these pictures will look abstract. I hope they still convey the feeling of the night!

Lanterns line the walkways, and the cherry trees are lit up!

There was a display of contemporary art lanterns, which added greatly to the mood.

Some of the cherry trees were huge.

We also enjoyed an amazing koto performance. It was a great ending to a wonderful night!