At first I’d like to thank Marcel for the warm welcome ( ´ ▽ ` ).
It’s spring 春 (はる), that means the cherry blossom season 桜の季節 (さくらのきせつ) is coming up. As you might know cherry blossoms 桜 (さくら) are well-known as being the symbol of Japan and a very important part of the Japanese culture 日本文化 (にほんぶんか). Especially the viewing of the cherry blossoms 花見( はなみ) as an annual event is very popular人気(にんき) among the people of all ages and social classes. They come together to eat 食べる (たべる) and drink 飲む(のむ) under one of the various trees and to enjoy the beauty of the flowers. The cherry blossom front 桜前線(さくらぜんせん) provides forecasts about the opening and full bloom of the さくら for the whole country. If you are interested in this, please follow this link: http://www.sakurazensen.com/
As for me, I am a big fan of Tōhoku 東北 (とうほく) the northeastern part of Honshu. For this reason I decided to introduce you two of the most important and best-attended cherry blossom festivals さくら祭り (さくらまつり) in 東北. The Sakura Festival of Kakunodate 角館さくら祭り (かくのだてさくらまつり) in Akita 秋田 and the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival 弘前さくら祭り(ひろさきさくらまつり) in Aomori 青森.
In this post I’d like to introduce you the 角館さくら祭り. The event is held from the middle of April to the beginning of May. 角館 is an old town castle located in Semboku, a city in 秋田, and is well-known for its historic samurai mansions 武家屋敷(ぶけやしき). The famous places to enjoy the beauty of the blooming flowers are the Weeping cherries (しだれ桜) of Kakunodate’s Samurai District and the Hinokinaigawa River 桧木内川 (ひのきないがわ) Bank of Somei Yoshino (ソメイヨシノ) Trees. If you are interested for further information about this event, take a look at the Tourist Information Site of Kakunodate: http://kakunodate-kanko.jp/index.html (also available in English).
The second part will be coming soon. じゃぁねー♪