It's Cherry Blossom Time in Japan!
Cherry Blossoms flower outside of Nagasaki's Atomic Bomb Museum
In another of what seems to be a series of unbelievable bits of good timing we have encountered in our travels, we hit Japan right at the peak of the cherry blossoms blooming.

At our first stop, Nagasaki, we were enthralled by the flowering trees all around The Atomic Bomb Museum. They helped add a quiet touch to the somber site advocating peace near the epicenter of the atomic bomb blast that devastated the city in 1945.

Cherry Blossoms flower outside of Nagasaki's Atomic Bomb Museum

Cherry blossom petals adorn the paths in Nagasaki

Cherry Blossoms flower outside of Nagasaki's Atomic Bomb Museum


The buds also thrive in the nearby park that marks ground zero.

The trees are a real tribute to recovery since scientists predicted that radioactive fallout wouldn't allow plants to grow for seventy-five years.

More about beautiful, peaceful NagasakiCherry Blossoms flower outside of Nagasaki's Ground Zero Park

A woman creates a perfect rose out of ice cream in Nagasaki

We encountered an unexpected edible flower in the park, when a lady selling rose water ice formed a perfect bloom atop a cone for us.

She performed this artistic task in a matter of seconds.

More about beautiful, peaceful Nagasaki

WATCH: A work of art in seconds!

Cherry blossoms in Osaka, Japan!

Between Nagasaki and our next stop, Osaka, we looked into some of the history of the cherry blossom tradition in Japan.

Known as sakura, the blooming trees have deep roots in Japanese culture.

They do not produce fruit, which when we thought about it is most likely a good thing because if each of the blooms became a cherry... well that's a lot of cherries!

Cherry blossoms in Japan

Instead, the trees have been cultivated for their flowers and are said to symbolize clouds or, because of the fact that the blooms only last about a week, mortality.

This brevity has associated the blossoms with the concept of mono no aware, literally translated as "the pathos of things," a Japanese term for the awareness of the transience of life.

A bird's nest among the cherry blossoms in Osaka, Japan

A family picnicking under cherry blossoms in Osaka, Japan

On a lighter note, the Japanese people have embraced Hanami, the ancient tradition of picnicking under a blooming sakura tree.

The custom began over a thousand years ago with royalty, but has been adopted by everyone.

Over the centuries the cherry blossoms have become so iconic to the Japanese that they even used to plant the trees on conquered territories to show their authority over the new land.

On our arrival in Osaka, good fortune struck again when we discovered that our hotel was right across from The Expo Park. Built for the Japan World Exhibition of 1970, the park just happens to be listed as one of the top 100 places for viewing cherry blossoms in Japan.

See how we "ruined ourselves" in fabulous Osaka!

The Tower of the Sun in Osaka, Japan

The focal point of the park is the Tower of the Sun, by famous Japanese sculptor Okamoto Taro.

The crazy looking bird statue looms over two hundred feet above the park and has three faces.

Shockingly, the top face is not called "Satellite Dish Bird Face" as we were calling it. It is actually meant to represent the Sun of the Future, with the other face on the front representing the Sun of the Present, and on the back of the tower is the Sun of the Past.

Cherry Blossoms in Expo Park, Osaka, Japan

Cherry Blossoms in Osaka, Japan

But as famous as the tower is, it was definitely playing second fiddle to the flowers.

At least for this week while the sakura were at their peak.

Thousands of folks were flooding into the park and we didn't see a single one of them take a photo of old satellite dish face.

David & Veronica,

See how we "ruined ourselves" in fabulous Osaka!
More about beautiful, peaceful Nagasaki
Check out all of our adventures in Japan!

YOUR TURN: Aren't the cherry blossoms stunning? Were you as blown away by their history as we were?

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