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Cherry Blossoms in Tanzawa 丹沢山の山桜

Wild Cherry Blossoms in Tanzawa 丹沢山の山桜

My Dad loved the mountains.  He used to take us to the Japan Alps during the summer for short trips.  As we (mom, my brother, and myself) were all wuss about hiking, he never took us on anything more than a little stroll down some paths for sightseers.

His favorite place to hike, though, was Tanzawa Mountains, located northwest of Kanagawa Pref., only about an hour and a half drive from Yokohama where we lived.   I have some fond memories going there for weekend camps and day trips, but usually only as far as our family car could get us.  He had some friends he would go up to hike, but I never had a chance to join him as I was a young and peppy city girl.  I didn’t start hiking until I was well into my 30s.

My Dad passed away in April of 2001.    As he had donated himself to medical research upon his death, we didn’t receive his ashes back until almost a year later.    One of his wishes was to be buried in his favorite mountain.  So in April of 2002, his friends asked me to join them on a hike up the mountains to go sprinkle his ashes.  It was a drizzly day in early spring, but the mixture of deep green, the new green, and different shades of pink of the wild cherry blossoms (山桜) made my hike so magical.  I felt as if I had stepped into Kaii Higashiyama’s world.(東山魁夷)

I finally made it to go hiking with Dad on his favorite trail.

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