Sakura (Cherry Blossom) viewing in Kawazu

This week, Mark and I went on a day trip from Tokyo to Kawazu on the Izu Penninsula to see some early flowering cherry blossoms.  It was a very Japanese experience with crowded trains and many stalls selling local food along the river bank where the majority of the blossoms were.  It really was very nice and very pink!

Japan is getting pinker at the moment in the build up to cherry blossoms – lots of posters, adverts, pink beer (at least the cans) and forecasts like weather forecasts on where to see blossoms.

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Unofficial Work Trip to Izu Penninsula

On a Friday night in November a group of us from work left early, taking a minibus to Izu Peninsula, more specifically the resort of LaForet. The views of Fuji san on the way were great, with the sun setting. After arriving we settled into our room and freshened up in the Onsen (natural Japanese hot baths) with the other women.

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The men were in a separate building a short drive away and a resort minibus took us to join them for dinner.  We had a very traditional Japanese dinner with entertainment provided by ourselves, viola playing, dancing and even some comedy (mostly lost on me as no translation!).

The food was amazing and served in a traditional tatami room.  Many of my (Japanese) colleagues talked about how they had never had such a traditional meal so I was honoured to have had the opportunity.  The night was a lot of fun.

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The next day I went for a short run before breakfast and then a group of us visited Shuzenji Onsen 修善寺 nearby.  It was lovely, lots of shrines and autumn colours and a fabulous bamboo corridor to walk through.  We ended our visit with some great soba noodles for lunch before returning to Tokyo.

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