Monday, March 31, 2008

Sakura season

I've been back in Fukuoka for two weeks and it seems almost like I never left.

Besides going through accumulated stacks and folders of mail and sorting out insurance (both domestic and travel), I've done a recording for a television commercial, a small bit of jingles recording for LoveFM, rewritten a research paper for a Japanese academic, and transcribed some Betty Boop cartoons for an language materials publisher who seems to think there may be a market for early 20th century black-and-white animation.

I've also been planning a pilgrimage, about which I'll write more later. In preparation for long days of walking, I've taken to getting around on foot as much as possible. This morning I went out for a two hour walk around the city that turned into a three hour outing after stopping to shoot a number of cherry trees that have begun blooming. Most of these were taken in nearby Maizuru Koen.

For those that might be interested, you can keep updated on the cherry front here. While you may not be able to read Japanese, you can probably figure out what you're looking at because it uses a familiar format, the weather map. But instead of showing an approaching typhoon, it depicts the blossoming of cherry trees across the archipelago, moving in a roughly northeasterly direction from the southern most prefectures. The clickable map will take you to any place in Japan and give you detailed information on the state of the blossoms in your neighborhood.

Directly above is the latest prediction (from March 25th) on approximate dates for the cherry trees to begin blossoming across the country. The numbers are



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