A new year in Okinawa means the ever so anticipated flower season is upon us! That's right, when you live on a subtropical island you swap blizzards for blossoms during the winter. From January through May fields bursting with sun flowers, cosmos, lilies, irises and the ever so famous sakura aka cherry blossoms pop up all over Oki. This year I made it my mission to see them all since next winter might be a bit hectic with our move. At the beginning of our list the were the Cosmos fields and Sakura trees, the first blooms of the season.
This past weekend Ben and I travelled to the Motobu Peninsula with a plan to track down cosmos. While there are plenty of cosmos fields throughout the entire island, some are in much fuller bloom than others which is why we made the hour trek up North. We heard rumor that these flowers were fairing much better than other fields down South and thankfully this turned out to be true! I was thrilled when we came across a farming village which had little patches of these pink and white flowers scattered through out. Eventually we settled on a rather expansive stretch of cosmos blooms and snapped away. I'm not sure how long cosmos flowers stay in bloom, but if I have the opportunity to see them again next weekend I might just have to take it.... They are SO beautiful!
While we were already up North in the more mountainous region of Okinawa, Ben and I decided that we might as well kill two birds with one stone and stop by Mt. Yae to see the sakura. Interestingly, Okinawa is the first prefecture in Japan that sees sakura bloom since it's so much warmer than mainland Japan. That means we get to enjoy our sakura a full two months earlier than the rest of Japan!
Mt. Yae was absolutely packed to the brim with bright pink sakura trees and eager onlookers excited to catch of glimpse of these fleeting beauties. The crowds worked to our benefit though because their presence attracted vendors, one of which included a homemade ice cream salesman. Ben and I couldn't resist and purchased two oishii (delicious) cherry and vanilla ice cream cones. We ate our cherry blossom ice creams surrounded by cherry blooms trees and treasured this moment of pure bliss.
Although these flowers may be fleeting, their brief moment of fully blossomed beauty is something that I never take for granted. Enjoying the beauty of nature is one of my favorite past times and I'm always amazed how revitalizing even 15 minutes of outside activity can be. Needless to say, I'm already looking forward to our next floral scavenger hunt - which I believe will be sunflowers - so stay tuned!
We're Kara and Ben, a Marine Corps family currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Enjoy our adventures, travels, photos, thoughts, and life together halfway around the world!
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