Around Koga, Travel

Sakura Flower Viewing (桜花見)

As I wrote in my previous post, mono no aware is such an important part of Japanese culture. It’s only been a few days since the blossoms were in full bloom and they are already beginning to pool at my feet. The petals flutter around like snow flurries and coat the ground in a fine dusting of white and pink. It’s almost heartbreaking that something so beautiful is so brief, but then again, that’s all part of it. It really drives home this idea of appreciating the now. It’s not something to be sad about, but something to cherish. I was lucky enough to enjoy the cherry blossoms and really learn to appreciate them. Now, I can look for other amazing things to celebrate about life, here and now.
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Around Koga

Mono no Aware (物の哀れ)

This past weekend was all about “mono no aware.” This idea is a very important part of Japanese culture, and the aspect that I respect the most. It literally translates to “a pathos of things.” Basically, appreciate the things in life that are fleeting or impermanent. The best example I can give is cherry blossoms. They bloom once a year and only last about a week. That is why hanami (cherry blossom viewing) is so popular here. The Japanese have a festival for nearly everything that is notoriously short-lived.They have plum festivals, peach festival, cherry blossom festivals, and even snow festivals. It’s always about taking the time to enjoy life, because it is truly, very brief. So, I invite you to try “mono no aware.” This weekend, gather a group of friends an family, take out a picnic blanket, and go celebrate the most beautiful, yet brief, part of spring in your town. This idea stretches beyond physical things, but you get the jest of it. Continue reading