Although the cherry blossoms have long scattered in Tokyo, the cherry blossom is not over for me yet! There is one place I want to visit, and I’ve been keeping my eye on the sakura forecast. When the place I wanted to visit finally updated from “70% bloom” to “Full bloom”, we made the trip the very next day. To Fukushima!
It was roughly a 4-hour drive and I wanted to beat the crowd (and hopefully get some people-free photos in), so the plan was to set off at 3.30am. Of course, we ended up leaving house at 4.30am -_-
Fu slept in the car and *I* drove us all the way to Fukushima! Pro since the Kumamoto incident haha. Driving early is actually pretty awesome; low traffic, discounted highway tolls, and NO SUN. I actually enjoyed the drive there; cruising along the highway and singing along to my favorite songs, with the mountains in the distance and fields to the side… I wouldn’t mind driving if we start all road trips in the dead of the night!
And we did an 8-hour round trip for…
My favorite Shidarezakura! 1000 trees stretched out over 3km!!!
p.s.: Shidarezakura is weeping cherry.
The trees line both sides of the walkway and the pink just streeeeetched on endlessly. It’s almost like a dream! Except in my dream there won’t be other people around. Sigh, 8.10am and there were so many people already.
This walkway is actually a former railway track, and after the line was decommissioned, they decided to turn it into a place for people to take walks. A section of the original train is preserved and on display:
But did you think those were all the photos I took? Then you must be new here ;) The first part is mainly to enjoy the flowers, so I didn’t take many photos at all. The return trip is the real deal, heh. Ready?
We stopped for a snack break and Fu requested to sit in front of the Somei Yoshino (another species of cherry blossom) because he prefers it over Shidarezakura. Then he confessed that he actually doesn’t like Shidarezakura at all. SAY WHAT?!
I took a deep breath and quelled the angry steam fighting to puff out of my ears and nose and asked him why. He said, “Because they look so messy! Like they didn’t comb their hair and it’s in a giant clump.” And then he scrunched his nose in distaste as he shook his head.
LOLOL laugh die me! The kind of nonsense he comes up with! And I wonder what he was thinking since arriving! Probably something along the lines of “WTH. Crawled out of bed early in the morning and drove 4 hours to see this?!” LOL.
I spotted an area where the branches were hanging low enough to get a photo, so I asked Fu to help me take. What I wanted a picture was me peeking out from among the flowers, you know, the pastely, dreamy kind, maybe with a bit of sunlight flare spot.
This was what he took:
I ownself take better.
More photos as we walked back!
Was that gorgeous or was that gorgeous? Can’t believe there are people who think these trees look like messy hair *shakes head in disbelief*
When we got back to the car, I was shocked we had to pay for 5 hours of parking!!! It didn’t seem like we there for more than 2 hours, but Fu immediately quipped “Ya! We were there for a long time! You mean you didn’t know?!” Lol I should be so thankful that he accompanies me even though he’s probably bored out of his mind after half an hour (if that) of sakura. Sankyuuuuu ♥︎
We went to the visitor center and got directions to a restaurant to eat the local 喜多方 Kitakata Ramen.
Our second stop was a restaurant that served Ramen Burger (a burger with dry ramen noodles as the buns), another Kitakata delicacy. But unfortunately they were all sold out :(
But the good news is we stumbled upon a lovely little area near the restaurant:
A little pond with Somei Yoshino trees lining two sides of the perimeter, and still-snowcapped mountains in the distance.
Fu loudly declared, “This is my favorite place in Fukushima!” and then throughout our entire 1+ hour stay in this area, he would randomly announce “I really like this place! It’s so nice!” Multiple times. So you see, between the two of us, I’m not the only dingdong one.
We bought this ice cream mochi to try, and I chose the most popular flavor. It’s so cute because it has a naruto (fishcake) on it! One bite into it and I realized that this was not the usual ice cream mochi. I tasted pepper. And miso. Then it hit me. It’s probably meant to emulate the local delicacy – RAMEN. Hahaha. But after a few more bites, I found that the miso started to taste like salted caramel!
Fu started to get sleepy, so while he laid down to nap, I ventured down the stairs to take photos of the lone Shidarezakura tree.
Soon after, we started to make our way home. This time, Fu took the wheel while my adrenaline gave out and I slept for 3 hours straight LOL.
That’s the end of our short stay in Fukushima, but I’m sure we will be back again in future!
Official website (Japanese)