Hanami, a Japanese tradition

I can’t complain about the past view days. I really enjoy working in breakfast, I am not working too many over hours, I have enough free time and days off and I explore Kyoto more and more.

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One tradition in Japan is called Hanami, which is the process of enjoying the Sakura while having a picnic under a cherry blossom tree. So nice! Our Locanda breakfast supervisor organized this little meet up. We met each other after work around 6:30 at the Kamogawa River right next to the hotel. The weather was really nice today, but it got very cold in the evening. I was so happy that I went back to get a hoodie. It was freezing, but it didn’t hold us back to sit together under the cherry blossom tree next to the river in the dark, drinking and eating chips, pizza, onigiri, sweets and having funny conversations. It was the first time, that I felt that we were a real community and friends, beside work. We were sitting here around 4 hours.

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I was the lucky one, who had the next day off. The others needed to work, as early as always. The weather was so bad this day. It was raining the whole day! Non-stop! I don’t even know how it is possible, that the weather is changing every single day. There is no consistency at all. But well. It was a good excuse to be the whole day in my room, watching Netflix and doing stuff for school. In the evening I met up with Amanda and Bart for dinner. They wanted to try a vegan restaurant, a 20 minutes walk from my apartment. So, we met there. The food was absolutely tasty. So good! I had a delicious corn soup, a Mexican chilli, taco salad with rice, avocado and vegan cheese and for dessert we shared matcha pancakes with vanilla ice cream. Sooo delicious!

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Afterwards we decided to walk to Maruyama park to see the Sakura trees by night. We all needed to do something, because the whole day was just super lazy and boring. It was so nice and funny to hang out with them. I can’t wait to meet up with them again.

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I walked all the way back to the apartment, where else they just took the subway. But I actually didn’t mind. It stopped raining and I could walk the beautiful way along the little river back to my apartment. It was a beautiful atmosphere, even though the rain destroyed much of the Sakura.

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The next day I decided to go to the Botanical Garden of Kyoto. The weather was much better, and I really wanted to take the chance to see more of Kyoto during the Sakura Season. I took the subway until Kitaoji and walked along the Kamogawa river until I reached the garden. You need to pay an entrance fee, but it is absolutely a reasonable price. The garden or park is beautiful and has very different areas to offer. Beautiful flowers, little lakes, gardens, Sakura trees, fountains and traditional plants. The atmosphere is really relaxing. There weren’t that many people around. The botanical garden of Kyoto is a bit further away from the centre. Furthermore, there aren’t any other attractions nearby. Therefore, the number of tourists is limited. If someone is just for a few days in Kyoto, I wouldn’t recommend visiting the botanical garden. It is a nice to see, but not a must. I spent and will be spending so much time here. I think when I am coming back to Germany, I can say that I know Kyoto perhaps as good as a local.

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After the botanical garden I walked all the way along the River while listening to music. It took me over 40 minutes until I reached Shimogamo-jingu Shrine. The Shrine has a beautiful location in the middle of nature. It is very peaceful and quiet with not a lot of tourists around. I don’t know if I were just lucky or if it is always like that.

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In the Sakura Season I definitely wanted to visit Heian-jingu Shrine. I really wanted to take a bus, because it is kind of far to walk from Shimogamo-jingu Shrine. The problem was just, that there wasn’t any bus driving in this direction. Therefore, I didn’t have another chance then walking. I walked around an hour! Walking is exhausting, especially when I have in mind that I have to work the next day, but it has so many advantages. I see many new things and places that I wouldn’t see when taking a bus or a subway. In this case I walked a beautiful way along the small Okazaki river. All these beautiful Sakura trees! I was very glad seeing this place before this beautiful season is over.

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When I finally reached the Heian-jingu Shrine I decided to make a little break at the Okazaki park, from where you can see the huge red Shrine symbol. I have no idea what’s the proper name for that, but I think you can see on the pictures what I mean.

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If you want to see what’s behind the Shrine, you have to pay an extra fee. The area is quite big and the gardens and temples itself are definitely beautiful. I think Heian Shrine is one of the most popular attractions here.

From the Shrine I walked to the next supermarket and from there all the way back home. It took me 40 minutes until I came back. I was super tired and exhausted after this day of walking. I don’t know how many steps I made, but I am sure it was a record.Back in my apartment I cooked dinner, watched Netflix, skyped with my family and tried to go early to bed. The next days of work can begin!

 

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