Terrie's Take 939 (Tourism Edition) - So, Just Where in Japan Do the Last Cherry Trees Bloom?

Terrie's Take terrie at mailman.japaninc.com
Mon Apr 9 09:37:45 JST 2018

* * * * * * * * TERRIE'S (TOURISM) TAKE - BY TERRIE LLOYD * * * * * *
A bi-weekly focused look at the tourism sector in Japan, by Terrie 
Lloyd, a long-term technology and media entrepreneur living in Japan.

Tourism Sector Edition Sunday, Apr 08, 2018, Issue No. 939

SUBSCRIBE to, UNSUBSCRIBE from Terrie's Take at: 

+++ So, Just Where in Japan Do the Last Cherry Trees Bloom?

There is no doubt about the fact that the peak time for first-time 
visitors to Japan is during the blooming of the nation's cherry 
blossoms. Unfortunately, given the fact that nature has the blossoms 
come when they feel like it, and not according to some traveler's 
careful scheduling, I truly feel sorry for the many thousands of people 
who arrived in Japan last week, only to find that the prime spots in 
Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto were already done and gone. Yup, Mother Nature 
had the cherry blossoms come a full ten days earlier than average... Of 
course, what's "average" is advancing each year, as our world gets 
perceptibly warmer.

So what is a romantic camera-toting tourist to do?

Well, there are a variety of cherry blossom "insurance policies" you can 
practice (and tell your visiting friends about). The first is to 
remember the simple fact that cherry trees bloom according to 
temperature and variety. So if you go to colder climes, you get a window 
in which to chase the blossoms northwards and upwards. The best way to 
do this is to have your first-time visitors start off their adventure in 
Tokyo or Kyoto, then travel to the Japanese Alps (Nagano in particular), 
then up to Hokkaido - timing the northern part of their trip for some 
time ranging from the first week of April (Niigata) through to the 
middle-end of May (Hokkaido).

Right now (April 8, 2018), Niigata and Nagano cherry trees are in full 
bloom, and over the next 10 days trees in Aomori and the southern part 
of Hokkaido will be. If your friends miss those sites, then they will 
either need to do some mountain hiking or go north east. For example, 
Mount Hikarujo, near Azumino in Nagano, has a mass of cherry trees, and 
because it is cooler the higher you ascend, the blossoms at the top are 
still popping even while those at the base may be past their full glory. 
An added bonus is a wonderful view of the beautiful snow-covered peaks 

http://bit.ly/2qetNZT [Mt. Hikarujo photos, Azumino JP site]

[Continued below...]

----------- Rooftop Organic Brunch - Alishan --------------

Alishan Organic X Abi's Journal. Join us at the long table under the 
blue sky on Abi's rooftop in Yoyogi Uehara for a relaxing brunch. The 
Chef from Alishan Cafe will be in charge of the kitchen for the day. 
Fresh pastries, quiche, yogurt parfait topped with granola and fruit, 
and kale salad, are just a few of the dishes on the menu. In addition, 
Alishan's visiting chef from London Proof's Place will be making special 
pancakes and tofu "egg" scramble. Brunch will be served with champagne, 
coffee, tea and cold-pressed juice from Sunshine Juice. Please let us 
know if you have any allergies.

In celebration of Alishan Organic Center's 30th anniversary, the Rooftop 
Brunch price has been reduced from JPY8,000 to JPY6,000. Jack and Fay, 
founders of Alishan will be there celebrating as well!

Booking deadline: April 12th. Limited to 20 people. JPY6,000-Adults, 
JPY2000-Children (under 13)
RSVP: Call Alishan Cafe: 0429-82-4811, or online at Peatix: 
http://abialishanbrunch.peatix.com/. Payment at venue.
Venue: Grand Forest #303 Ooyama-cho 35-19 Shibuya-ku Tokyo 151-0065. 10 
min walk from Yoyogi Uehara station.
Cancellation: Notification by April 13 through Peatix, Facebook, and phone.

Facebook event page : http://bit.do/rooftopbrunch

Then there are the late blooming cherry varieties. While the most 
commonly cultivar is Somei Yoshino, the classic 5-petaled white-pink 
trees that we see on tourist posters, the most popular late bloomer 
variety, specifically planted to withstand the cold northern winters and 
mountain winds, is the Sargent's Cherry, otherwise known as the North 
Japanese hill cherry. This is the variety of the famous pink-blooming 
trees lining Lake Nakatsuna in Nagano, which will be out at the end of 
this month. These trees are magnificently reflected in the waters of the 
lake, making it popular for more adventurous photographers.

http://bit.ly/2Hiirv4 [Photo of blooming trees by the Nishina lakes]

The last place in Japan for cherry blossoms to bloom, sometimes as late 
as the end of May, is Nemuro in eastern Hokkaido. The Seiryuji temple 
there has over thirty 100-year old Chishimazakura trees that were 
transplanted from Kunashiri island in what is now Russia, in the Meji 
era. So these trees have a strong symbolic value for the Japanese.

http://bit.ly/2EukSHK [Nemuro cherry trees]

Spring blossoms have of course been a topic for literary composition for 
thousands of years. In Japan, early poetry mostly focused on the 
fragrant plum blossom, but in the Heian period (794-1185) interest 
switched to cherry blossoms - perhaps because they are more delicate and 
fleeting (and thus make a much better tragi-romantic metaphor). If you 
want to learn about the history (pages 19-100) of the cherry tree in 
Japan, you can find an excellent free book (in English) on the subject 
online at:

http://bit.ly/2ICDfwW [Cool online history book on cherry blossoms]

It's an interesting tome, and flicking through the pages, you can 
discover a range of fascinating insights into the history and spread of 
cherry tree varieties around the country. For example, did you know that 
Ueno Park's famous cherry blossoms have an interesting heritage? In the 
1620's, with the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo, Ueno 
was an important Feng Shui (Fusui, in Japanese) point, being to the 
northeast of the palace and thus being an "Outer Gate" of the spirit realm.

To protect the shogun from possible malevolent spirits emanating from 
that point, the Buddhist high-priest Tenkai decided to build the Tokyo 
branch of the Eizanji temple (later known as Kanei-ji temple) on the 
spot, replete with a pond (Shinobazu) and cherry trees. The temple 
complex became massive, taking up most of the Ueno quarter, but was 
mostly destroyed in 1868 during the Battle of Ueno in the Boshin War. 
The area lay fallow for a while, then in 1873 (or 1875 or 1885 - 
depending on which book you read) a Dutch doctor named Anthonius Bauduin 
convinced the new government to turn the Ueno battle ground into the 
nation's first public park, and thus the cherry trees there were preserved.

Convenient websites for tracking cherry blossoms both this year and in 
future years include:

http://bit.ly/2GKMlXU [www.japantravel.com's feature page, of course!]
http://bit.ly/2qgXqZz [JR East's very good and regularly updated 
destination/bloom status page]
http://bit.ly/2qhO4g7 [Wonderfully detailed cherry viewing spot list for 
Nagano - someone really went to a lot of trouble to make this...]
http://bit.ly/2IB4ec1 [JNTO's sakura map]

...The information janitors/


-- Foreign Entrepreneurs Business Plan Competition 2018 ---

Tokyo Star Bank's new initiative, the Foreign Entrepreneurs Business 
Plan Competition 2018, gives foreign entrepreneurs an opportunity to 
become the next star in Japan's business scene. The Grand Prize winner 
of the competition will be awarded a whopping JPY1,000,000 in funding. 
Only foreign nationals living in Japan or foreign-born Japanese are 
eligible to apply. In addition to judges, the final selection stage will 
also be attended by venture capitalists and private equity funds looking 
for new businesses in which to invest.

The deadline for applications is June 8. Applicants must submit several 
documents including a business proposal in Word or PowerPoint that is up 
to 20 pages long. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2HhXZul


SUBSCRIBERS: 6,335 members as of Apr 08, 2018 (We purge our list regularly.)


Written by: Terrie Lloyd (terrie.lloyd at japaninc.com)

HELP: E-mail Terrie-request at mailman.japaninc.com with the word 'help' in 
the subject or body (don't include the quotes), and you will get back a 
message with instructions.

Send letters (Feedback, Inquiries & Information) to the editor to 
terrie.lloyd at japaninc.com.

For more information on advertising in this newsletter, contact 
ads at japaninc.com.

Get Terrie's Take by giving your name and email address at 
http://www.japaninc.com/newsletters/free_sign_up, or go straight to 
Mailman at: http://mailman.japaninc.com/mailman/listinfo/terrie

http://www.japaninc.com/terries_take or, 

Copyright 2018 Japan Inc. Communications Inc.

----------------- Japan Inc opens up Japan ----------------

J at pan Inc authoritatively chronicles business trends in Japan. Each 
posting brings you in-depth analysis of business, people and technology 
in the world's third largest economy.

Visit www.japaninc.com for the best business insight on Japan available.

More information about the Terrie mailing list