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Life Here

September 4, 2018 By Dair Rausch

Awaiting the Sakura

In modern Japan the media tracks SAKURA ZENSEN, “The cherry blossom front,” as it marches from subtropical Okinawa to the northernmost island, Hokkaido. Outdoor parties gather beneath the magnificent cherry trees day and night. “Hanami” is an important celebration for the Japanese and visitors from around the world.

When we visited Japan in 2011, we stayed in Gifu, a mountainous prefecture on the central island of Honshu. This region hosts the Takayama Spring Festival. Though we visited in the fall, which is strikingly beautiful in autumn colors, the lobby of our inn featured a looped CD of the gorgeous cherry blossoms. I inquired if the CD was “for sale.” Our host replied, “No, it’s only for the hotel guests to enjoy.”

Following a restorative soak in the Inn’s hot springs, we dressed in kimono, for a traditional, delicious, beautifully presented Japanese dinner. We returned to our room to find a CD and a note on our bed. “Please enjoy, but do not tell your group as we do not have enough.” How delighted we were, and we have viewed the spectacular Takayama CD many times since our return. At Christmas time, we wrote to our host to tell him how much we have enjoyed the CD and he replied with a darling photo of his pet cat and family.

We, at PVE, are creating happy memories of Sakura Zensen on our campus. We visit our beautiful little trees and celebrated our Second Annual Dinner with the Japanese menu coordinated by David Rausch, Susan Hashimoto and our amazing dining services staff.

Eyewitness Travel describes the love the Japanese feel toward the flowering cherry trees as “A felicitous symbol and poignant reminder of the evanescent beauty in this floating world.”

If you would enjoy celebrating with us next spring, keep your eye out for the announcement in the March Friday Flash!

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