Late in the afternoon on our way to Super Tamade, a local store in Sennichimae Dori in Osaka to buy food stuffs to be cooked for dinner, I asked my nephew Denden if Japanese people are still amazed with and still looks forward to Sakura (the blooming of cherry blossoms). Since it is a yearly phenomenon, I supposed people in Japan must have been so used to it. I supposed that it was just like an ordinary occurrence in Japan similar to the blooming of bonggambilya or kalachuchi flowers in the Philippines. It’s nothing to celebrate about. However, he replied, “Definitely Tito, because autumn is such a gloomy cruel season. It is so depressingly dull it makes people feeling down and heavy.”
After our first night, walking along the streets of Osaka in the morning, I was a little disappointed because I can actually count few trees whose flowers has bloomed. Majority of the trees were just brittle branches with dark buds and whose leaves have totally fallen off during the autumn season. Erika, my niece who’s also based in Japan told me that we arrived too early and should have scheduled our stay in Osaka on the latter days of April to witness the amazing flowers.
On our sixth and seventh day of staying in Osaka we went to Kyoto and Nara, I noticed that only few trees has bloomed with cherry blossoms flowers. I started to feel the depressing dullness of winter. I already set in my mind that I need to be back in Osaka some other time and make sure that those days will be the time when cherry blossoms are on its best. I told myself that the trip in Osaka, Japan could have been more perfect if the cherry blossoms are in full glow. The Osaka trip could have been like tasting the greatest cake in the world but without the cherry on the top.
On the day prior to our flight back to Manila, my family’s itinerary is to go and visit the Osaka Castle. I was looking forward to seeing one of the most famous castles in Japan that played a great role in the unification of its people during the sixteenth century but has set my mind that only few cherry blossoms in the area has bloomed.
But when we were about 200 to 300 meters away from the yard vicinity of the great castle, I saw that the color of the trees were strangely different. I started to feel lighter and a little delighted. And as we moved in closer, swarms of people – young and old – started to walk in the same direction that we were heading. I was very glad and very happy because everybody were all heading towards the immense occurrence of Sakura!
Denden was all along correct! Sakura elicits a cheerful feeling pointed towards the core of someone’s heart. Witnessing the Sakura on the last day of our stay was just like putting the freshest cherry on top of a cake, it was like seeing the Reigna Elena and Reigna Emperatriz combined of the Pinoy Santacruzan, it was like hearing the last yet the greatest hit song of a singer during a phenomenal concert, it was like the highlight of the highlight!
Grabe! Ang ganda!