Very late spring

After having missed the peak of the cherry blossoms in Tokyo, the duck and I just had to attempt catching them a bit further up north. So, just before Golden Week (an accumulation of public holidays making this week in late April/early May a popular travel season), we went on a little trip to Akita’s lake Tazawa and Kakunodate, planned by our lovely Kyoto travel pal!
So, here is a selection of the photos that I took while walking around the lake that turned out to be much larger than we had expected:

Lake Tazawa 1

Lake Tazawa has such a beautiful color!

Lake Tazawa 2

No matter what side of the lake you’re on – there’s so much to see (and, trust me, the duck and I have seen the lake from almost all angles there are)!

We arrived at Tazawako rather early in the morning and decided to greet the day with a little morning walk to the other side of the lake where our hotel was located. If you ever end up going to lake Tazawa, I highly recommend either checking out the bus times in advance (we decided to take a bus to the lake and then walk instead of waiting more than two hours for a bus that would bring us directly to the hotel) or renting a car or the more economical option, a bicycle, for circling the lake. Well, we walked. At least that gave us plenty of time to take the two photos above.
After arriving at the hotel, tired but not too tired to go on another adventure, we decided to have lunch at the cute little restaurant/shop just outside the hotel (I did get some clips of the little shop and of the rest of our trip – so if I ever manage to turn them into a little video – I did! you might get to see just how cute and lovely it is) and then set off to see the pretty red gate of Goza no Ishi Shrine, have a nice little kiritanpo snack there and admire a pretty memorable act of vandalism:

Lake Tazawa 4

The gate of Goza no Ishi Shrine looks nice against the watery and mountainy backdrop.

Lake Tazawa 4

Vandalism encouraged: there’s a bridge that allows visitors to write their wishes on it.

20+km later we were super tired and super excited for the second leg of our trip: the old samurai town Kakunodate that is famous for its cherry blossoms! And, instead of taking lots of photos of the beautiful town that, to be fair, was so crowded with tourists (not as much as Kyoto, but still crowded enough) that it was nearly impossible to take any wider photos of the architecture that would not have loads of other casual (and professional) photographers in them, I focused on the sakura… a lot:

Kakunodate 1

After having missed most of the sakura in Tokyo…

Blog Photographs-31

… I couldn’t stop taking photos of the cherry blossoms in Kakunodate!

Kakunodate 3

The town is especially known for its samurai houses and weeping cherry trees!

I think the duck and I were a bit too happy to finally have caught Japanese cherry blossoms in their peak, haha! But that’s okay. It would have been so embarrassing to not have any nice photos of sakura in full bloom after having spent a spring in Japan.
While we did take the overnight bus to get to Tazawako, the duck and I threw our stinginess overboard (even we do that sometimes) and treated ourselves to our very first bullet train journey (and, of course, we picked a train that features a rather nice toilet! Oh, and it happens to reach the fastest speed out of the Japanese bullet trains… priorities, right?!) – back to Tokyo.
Quite a few thousand yen poorer but richer in lots of wonderful memories, the duck and I are spending what is left of our Golden Week lazing around, reminiscing about our wonderful trip to the North and crying over my aching foot (well, I’m crying. The duck is actually sitting next to me laughing viciously about my misery) that I might or might not have hurt during our spontaneous hike around the lake…

Aaaanyway, that’s it for now. Have a great beginning of May very late spring (and end of Golden Week) and see you again sometime… if I can bring myself to be less lazy…
Ta ta(zawako)!

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