While most cherry blossom trees in Tokyo bloom towards the end of March and into early April. There is a variety known as Kawatsu-sakura (河津桜) that bloom much earlier. It’s difficult to find a single location with many of the trees but one such place exists about an hour and half south of Tokyo in the Miura Peninsula near a Miura-Kalgan (三浦海岸）station. A visit in late February is usually pretty safe for nice flowers.
The city was administering a page this year (2016) but if that link doesn’t work a quick search should reveal somewhat regular photos.
The Kawatsu Sakura tends to be a lot more pink that the Someiyoshino (?) variety that is seen more commonly. Oftentimes the pink is juxtaposed with the yellow of ”Rape Blossoms” (What a terrible term for a flower) for a nice contrast.
I came across this flower walking to the office the other day and it turned out that is called a “Dance Party Hydrangea”. (I found it hard to believe until a did a Google Search
In collecting my shuin templte stamps (御朱印帳). I went to a large temple complext just a few stations down the road called Takahata-fudo (高幡不動). The large complex has a large forested area in the back that has 88 small stone statues, known as go-jisho-san (ご地蔵さん) in Japanese. This is the same number as the 88 temple tour through the Shikoku Island.
My Shuin Book
The weather in mid-May tends to be ideal for bicycle commuting in Tokyo. Daytime temperatures are in the mid-20s and it is not too cold in the early morning. I left the house at about 6h30 and rode the hour and 10 minutes into work. Along the way I passed through Yoyogi park and was pleasantly surprised by the blooming roses. I topping and took a quick photo and continued on my way.
With the weather getting colder in Tokyo I drove out to the other side of the bay (Chiba prefecture) and rode the half-sea-half-mountain ride that I started tinkering with last year. The weather forecast called for a high of 12 and it certainly felt that we when I set out at 9AM however as I passed around onto the bottom of the peninsula I got a head wind which is rare as the prevailing winds are Westerly. Along the way I did get a rather nice shot of the bicycle with some sky so I thought I would share that.
The first portion of the mountain half was exploratory and I would up finding a few nice riding roads with few cars which was nice but the temperate did get quite cold with the last 30 or so kilometers being at about 4C
Though I did make a couple changes along the way the course was as below: