The man I met at the Kamegamori trail head was very friendly. I'm no stranger to impromptu conversations out in the mountains. They were welcomed. Most people are out because they have an interest in nature and the outdoors. These are the best people to meet. It's easy to strike up a conversation about favorite spots and past triumphs. No one is ever boasting of their achievements though. People share because they love the places and things they do. It's so natural to talk in this manner. I was offered a cup of coffee and I couldn't refuse. In the sunny late afternoon, as I sipped the scalding coffee, I felt satisfied. I sat long enough in the sun that I developed a slight burn on my cheeks.
I exchanged some information with the man and he then gave me a nice spot to view on my way home. He even pulled out his map and showed the approximate location. I wasn't paying attention that closely. I didn't think I would even go. He told me it was a weeping cherry tree that would be lit up in the garden of an old shrine and that is when I changed my mind. I never have much to lose in these situations. Already so far from home, another 15 or 20km doesn't matter. I bid my goodbye and said lets meet again somewhere sometime. But it will only be by chance probably. Down off the mountains I went and on the way I stumbled upon a beautiful little spot along the road.
The sun was sinking toward the lower hills in the distance and the light was hitting the gathering of sakura just right. A family of three was taking a picture with the sakura in the background. I wonder how well their picture came out.
White and pinks. Branches full of thick blooms.
If I had a blanket I would just lie underneath and gaze upward. Let the petals fall on me I say. It's the most delicate rain you can be in. No need for a towel. Just wipe the petals away.
Up close and personal. I almost felt that this was eavesdropping of the worst kind.
I liked the shadows. I liked the colors. I wanted to freeze a memory of this time forever.
Sometimes even the softest end up being the boldest.
It was then time to be back on the road. I was never lost but I did go out of my way at one point. I wanted to eat something so badly. I turned around to stop at a noodle place. By the time I saw it come into view, they had already closed for the evening. The more time I ate up the better. It was almost dark by the time I made it to the weeping sakura. I had gone a long way to get there. The moment I saw it I knew it had been worth it.
Casual onlookers strolled into the garden and tried to take snaps with their phones and pocket cameras. All they ended up with were blurry images of long sakura branches that look like some flower octopus probably. There were also the photographers sneaking around, waiting turns to get the perfect shots. It was a minefield of people in dark places. Every other step seemed like you were getting into someone's way. The tree was pleasant although it was a tiny bit past its prime. But I never would have gone there if it wasn't thanks to that chance occurrence and a cup of coffee.
After leisurely taking pictures for who knows how long I packed up and started the long drive home. With a smile on my face I knew it was just one of those days.