Not only was I treated to splendid weather and cherry blossoms at near bloom while in Japan, but the Imperial Palace grounds and gardens were open for touring, a rare event that not even many Japanese have experienced.
“Sakura” means “cherry blossom,” and by good fortune the timing of my visit to Japan. This day thus, was all about the blooms. We began with a lovely champagne brunch in a Ginza restaurant high atop Tokyo to put us all in good blossom-viewing spirits (it worked!). JF, the Kawagoe friend and I brunched with another of JF’s friends who will be relocating to Vienna, so we had much to chat about.
This was my second visit to Japan. On the previous visit in 2008 the four of us spent 12 days divided between Tokyo and Kyoto, and with day trips; so on this holiday my itinerary was a little more free-flow. JF had suggested Kawagoe to me and it sounded appealing, so off the three of us (one of JF’s friends, as well) set on my first full day in Japan.