Tokyo Sakura Photos of the Past Week

If you were in Tokyo the past week, you could see fantastic cherry blossoms.
For those who were not here, I would like to share some photos I took of beautiful flowers during my runs and walks.

Kichijoji residential area - March 23.

Zenpukuji Park - March 23.

Musashino Chuo Park - March 24.

Musashino Stadium - March 24.

Kanda River - March 26.

Asukayama Park at night - March 27.

Inokashira Park - March 28.

Inokashira Park - March 28.

Shakujii River - March 29.

Asukayama Intersection - March 29.

Somei Cemetery - the most popular cherry flower tree (Someiyoshino) was believed to have originated in this area.  March 29.

Somei Cemetery entrance area is near Sugamo - March 29.

Two additional photos - Zenpukuji River Green Park - March 30.

Nice trail by the river and under cherry blossom!

Cherry blossom in Tokyo lasted longer than expected, but it will end soon.


Birth Place of Miyamoto Musashi

My trip took me to Mimasaka, the birth place of Miyamoto Musashi - a legendary swordsman, philosopher, and an artist of the Seventeenth Century.  He wrote The Book of Five Rings.

Here's the monument of Musashi's birth place.

This is the house Musashi lived as a child (the current building is a re-built after a fire in 1942).

A statue of Musashi holding two swords - he's famous for his unusual way.

Pictures of Musashi - the big one is actually his self portrait when he was older.

A poster of a TV series about Musashi that was aired in 2003.

Here are more posters of older TV series about him.


Suddenly, Cherry Blossom Time!

We were expecting it to be early this year, but actually - very early.  Checking with the internet, this is the earliest for the cherry blossom since the turn of the century - tied with the year 2002.

Today, cherry blossom was fantastic. Spring Equinox day, so it is a holiday here in Japan.

Weather was mild and nice, so it was great to be outside (although terrible pollen in the air).

Below two photos are of Inokashira Park just 3 days ago - almost no sign of blossom

The white flowers in the back are Kobushi Magnolia, not cherry.

Yesterday, when I jogged, it was happening a bit - as shown below.

And today - just like magic!

Different kinds of cherry blossoms were pretty in Nishi-En (West Garden) of Inokashira Park.

I would say the amount of the blossom is still about 50%.  The peak should be over the weekend.  It will be wonderful.


Mishima Morning Run

I had an overnight stay in Mishima. I had a very nice run this morning.

Mt. Fuji was beautiful - all white due to a lot of snow this winter.

Cherry blossoms are early this year.

The pond of Mishima Taisha Shrine.

Beautiful red and white magnolia flowers.

A window of a shop.

A strange display of a ramen restaurant.

It was another very hilly run.


More Istanbul

Since I spent so many days in Istanbul, I have many photos. I would like to share some of the ones I took from my sightseeing walks.

This is the First Bosphorus Bridge - viewed from my hotel room.  It is  a landmark or Istanbul and a truly magnificent suspension bridge.

The hotel we stayed was connected to a former palace of a sultan.  It was truly beautiful.

Hagia Sophia - once the largest Christian Church in the world - was converted to a moque by the Ottomans.

Hagia Sophia is now  a museum - here's the interior of it.

People praying in the Blue Moque.

Tiles of a Haren wall of Topkapi Palace.

The Golden Horn seen from the bridge between Europe and Asia.

Colorful spices at the Spice Bazaar.

A belly dancer at a dinner.

Little Mannequins of a show window - they were not very attractive.

Istanbul is a very vibrant city - I truly enjoyed visiting it.


Istanbul Runs

I spent over one week in Istanbul, Turkey.  During my stay, I could go for several runs in the city.

One of the gates of Dolmabahçe Palace .

A statue of Atatürk - very popular figure in Istanbul.

Istanbul is very hilly - pictures cannot show the intensity very well.

Posters of musicians.

A window cleaner - looks very dangerous.

There were many jellyfish in Bosphorus.