Arigato, Japan

April 1, 1959 – Plaque commemorating planting of 50+ trees along the High Park Trail near Grenadier Pond. (Photo credit sakurainhighpark.com).

We know them as cherry blossoms but they are also known as sakura. The first Japanese Somei-Yoshino Cherry Tree was planted in High Park, Toronto, in 1959. Then Japanese ambassador to Canada, Toru Hagiwara, presented the trees on behalf of citizens of Tokyo, Japan. They were a gift to the citizens of Toronto; a thank-you for their support of Japanese-Canadian refugees after the Second World War. The original grove was planted along the High Park Trail near Grenadier Pond.

October 1984 – Plaque commemorating planting of 20 trees across from Children’s Adventure Playground. (Photo credit sakurainhighpark.com).

In October 1984 a grove of 20 trees was planted across from the Children’s Adventure Playground. They were given to the people of Toronto from Yoriki and Midori Iwasaki as a special gift in the spirit of community and friendship.

In April 2001 a grove of 34 cherry trees were planted along Hillside Gardens and Grenadier Pond. These were presented to the City of Toronto by the Sakura Committee as a symbol of friendship and good will between Japan and Canada.

April 2001 – Plaque commemorating planting of 34 trees along Hillside Gardens and Grenadier Pond (Photo credit sakurainhighpark.com).

The sakura are a symbol of the joy of life as they bloom and then perish quickly. They are the national flower of Japan.

The sakura season is very short, with the blooming flowers arriving quickly and suddenly falling away, in a span as short as a week. For this reason, the neighborhood around High Park is congested with traffic and pedestrians, this time of year, as tourists, photographers, and enthusiasts congregate under the beautiful weather to see these flowers.

I am not a fan of congestion, traffic, and crowding, but I am a fan of beauty, friendship, and spirit of community, so I braced myself and headed with my sister to High Park this week where I took these pictures. Click on them to see a larger view.

Arigato, Japan.

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10 Responses to Arigato, Japan

  1. JapanGasm says:

    Great photos…and I agree the fallen petals are beautiful. There’s nothing quite like standing under sakura trees being showered by falling petals – wow.

    And as the petals cover the surfaces of rivers and canals, the patterns they form in the water are wonderfully sweeping, complex and incredible to see, like giant brushstrokes of dots.

    Some more sakura photos you might like:
    http://japangasm.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/sakura-iii-the-beauty-of-hanami-in-tokyo/
    http://japangasm.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/sakura-iv-a-night-walk-in-the-graveyard/

    • orestgtd says:

      Thanks, japangasm, for your comment and links. I have added the links to the Related Articles section of my post.

      Seeing the petals being blown by the wind was a sight I enjoyed. Unfortunately the camera in my iphone would not capture that.

  2. Fabulous pics. The trees are a beautiful gift that keep on giving, year after year.

  3. Lovely pictures! You might be interested in the pictures of cherry blossom in Kew gardens in London on my blog – here’s the link:
    http://sequinsandcherryblossom.com/2013/04/28/best-cherry-blossom-london-kew-gardens/

  4. orestgtd says:

    Thanks, Sequins. Beautiful pictures on your site. I have added your link to the Related Articles section in my post.

  5. TammyeHoney says:

    Although we do not have cherry trees, we do have apple. They seem to have the same effect. They are so beautiful and the aroma is incredible. Thank you for sharing and allowing me to look forward to the blossoms that will begin very soon.

  6. sarahryan85 says:

    I love cherry blossoms!

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