Cherry Blossoms in Uji: Daigo Temple


Daigoji is a temple made famous for its cherry blossoms when in 1589,  Toyotomi Hideyoshi held a cherry blossom viewing party, about 700 years after its construction. 

Last Sunday, we were invited to go to Daigo Temple to view the cherry blossoms with my friend and student, Hirose. We were very excited to go, as work has kept us so busy that we haven’t really been able to enjoy any of the cherry blossoms in Kyoto. The forecast said that the trees were going to be in full bloom that day, and when we got there, the weather was perfect. A slightly chilly wind was blowing in and, yes, the trees were busting at the seams with their thousands of soft pink petals. The air has started to smell so sweet recently, and it was really peaceful, watching the petals flutter through the air on faint wind trails. They brushed your cheek and stuck to your clothes, and the ground was littered in this soft blanket of pink. I can see why they’re one of the main attractions for people in Kansai.

The grounds of the temple were quite gorgeous and expansive. There were several gardens and three main areas to the temple, including a very, very old weeping cherry tree, whose branches all needed braces for support. There was just a lot of calming, serene places in the temple grounds, and I had a lot of fun, despite getting a bit sunburned and overwhelmed by the sheer mass of people who had turned up fro the event.