This time two years ago I was lucky enough to visit Japan around the cherry blossom (sakura) season and take part in their national holiday called Golden Week – a time where people gather together in parks to enjoy the beauty of the sakura, whilst sipping on sake and enjoying picnics in the fresh outdoors.
It’s almost like you’re in a dream when the season approaches, with all the trees blooming and the slightest blow of wind creating moments that makes you stop, observe and simply enjoy such a sight. It kind of brings you in the now and I think this is the main respect given to the sakura; that it represents everything else in life, beautiful moments that will come and go and it’s important for us to appreciate, accept and make the most of them. It’s quite bitter-sweet and melancholic really, but as it would be from the Wabi-Sabi philosophy; it’s part of the process we all go through…
My image above is in dedication to my visit in Japan and I made an attempt to make some vegetarian sushi – although not as pretty as they could be, I think it’s worth giving sushi making a go yourself. Now unless you want to take many years out to master it (if only…), I think it’s OK to not have perfectly shaped and formed sushi, it’s actually enjoyable, if not extremely messy if you’re like me to make them.
Choosing the right kinds of dishes to match the food is important to the Japanese but here, I’ve used dishes that I was just too excited to not use if I’m honest! The main dish is a sushi plate made by potter, Lisa Hammond, who is based in Greenwich, London and is quite inspired by Japanese ceramics, having even spent time there herself studying and making. I felt the beautiful shape and colours of the dish were breathtaking and must be seen with some sushi on it as soon as possible! Then there’s the soy sauce dish which was made by Carl Gray, a potter based in Bassingham, Lincolnshire, who has a great selection of pottery for all functional purposes.
I also want to share a couple of images of myself and Greg in Japan where we visited Nara to see deer and parks full of sakura and also, we knew that the flower season appreciation started in the Nara period, so it felt like it fit the journey. Being surrounded by all of the sakura in these images reminds me of one of the best trips I’ve ever taken with memories I’ll take with me… Seeing these makes me melancholic and emotional every time! I’d recommend to anyone visiting Japan to go around this season for sure.