The Rhythm of Rural Life in Yamanashi, Japan

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Spring has arrived in Yamanashi, Japan. Although the weather has been rather cool for this time of year, the blossoms are blooming everywhere. I happened upon a secluded spot where I could view cherry blossoms in absolute peace in Ichikawamisato, Yamanashi. The location was at the top of a small mountain directly behind Mitama Onsen (Hot Spring).

A quiet place to view cherry blossoms behind Mitama Onsen

On the approach to Mitama Hot Spring, my favourite hot spring in Yamanashi, the fruit orchards were buzzing with activity. I noticed many farmers either removing excess blossoms from their trees, or pollinating their trees by hand. I asked if hand pollination was necessary due to a lack of natural pollinators, but I was assured that it was the best way to ensure a good harvest.

Here is a farmer in the process of removing peach blossoms for hand pollination.

The farmer shown above told me that this was the last season for the particular tree he was working on. He said that trees past their prime, 25 years old, are removed in favour of younger trees. I found all the farmers to be very accommodating when it came to answering my questions and allowing me to take pictures.

This particular farmer extolled the benefits of a life lived out of doors.

As the farmer pictured above took a break to explain the directions to a secluded cherry tree in the hills behind Mitama Onsen, he called over to the woman working in the field next to his to get her opinion on the subject. I turned to see who he was speaking to, and the photo below is the result.

The bucolic setting behind Mitama Onsen is intoxicatingly beautiful.

The scene above is repeated hundreds of times a day along the rolling hills surrounding the Kofu basin. I especially like the monochrome mountains in the background. Regardless of the direction you look in Yamanashi, you are bound to see the same monochrome mountains in the distance. The soil here is dark and rich.

If you look north from Mitama Onsen, you will see Mount Yatsugatake in Hokuto, Yamanashi. The multicoloured blossoms really overwhelm the senses. If you ever get a chance to experience spring in Japan, you will not be disappointed.

Mount Yatsugatake (Eight Peaks)

The final place I visited in Ichikawamisato was Kabuki Park. The park, awash in cherry blossoms, was the perfect place to bask in the glory of Japanese spring. The park is ideal for small children, but children of all ages can enjoy this park. The group pictured below was enjoying a lavish picnic known as hanami (cherry blossom viewing). The group seemed so content relaxing, and breathing in the sweet smell of spring.

Hanami (cherry blossom viewing)

The final photo of spring is this beautiful tree which is seen in the background of the photo above. Some beautiful things just beg to be photographed.

My final picture of spring in Ichikawamisato

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