The height of spring has finally come here in Nagano city, Nagano, Japan!
The cherries are blossoming late this year by a week or two throughout Japan. It was just last week when I saw so many tourists on sightseeing tour buses (featuring sakura blossom viewing) greatly disappointed to find the cherry blossoms still in bud.
In and around the city of Nagano, which is well-known as the host city of the Nagano Winter Olympic Games 1998, almost every kind of spring blossoms and flowers are in all glory. Sakura, or cherry blossoms, apricot, magnolia, dandelion, shepherd’s purse flower all come into bloom!
|the gate of Matsushiro castle|
Founded by a renownedfeudal lord, TAKEDA Shingen, around 1560 as he fought fierce battleswith UESUGI Kenshin for control of the northern Nagano area. After Shingen’s death, lordship of the castle changed hands several times until 1622 when SANADA Nobuyuki was transferredfrom Ueda castle by the Tokugawa shogunate. The castle buildings were dismantled during the Meiji restoration as most of other castles in Japan. The gates and walls you see today have been renovated or reconstructed faithfully based on the old records.http://www.nagano-cvb.or.jp/english/excursions.html
|statue of huge Enma (Yama; the King of Hell)|
|Nobushige sleeps here|
Long-awaited Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, will take place this weekend, I bet!!