Look at how pink the cherry blossoms are!
My friend and I were walking around Kuramae and stumbled upon this shrine. Kuramae Shrine (藏前神社) is surrounded by high rise buildings and isn't a large shrine at all. But the grounds are beautifully kept and in the spring these blooms take it up a notch. So lucky to have passed by when they were in full bloom!
Locals in this neighborhood call the soft pink cherry blossoms "Kuramae-zakura (蔵前桜)." I'm pretty sure it's just a certain type of yamazakura
but I like to think that it is so beloved in the community that people just gave it a name. I mean, why else would they do that, right?
We were actually not the only ones blown away by the gorgeous burst of pink. There was a dog standing just under the bright pink cherry blossoms, pretty much the very best hanami spot ever. He just happens to be a bronze statue so he won't be sharing that spot anytime soon. Ha.
Apparently there is a popular Rakugo
story called Moto-inu (translated "former dog") about a dog that wished to become a human so fervently that one day, he did! If you've seen The Little Mermaid, you'll know it's not that easy to suddenly become a human. I read the Japanese transcript
and can tell you the story had me chuckling. You can learn all about the dog and Kuramae Shrine here on Ru's blog
. She is my go-to gal for all things temples and shrines!
Anyways, the dog is only a statue but when you step onto the Kuramae shrine grounds, a very friendly cat is there to welcome you. Well, more like welcome you to scratch his tummy...but still a welcome. I've never seen such a straigh-forward friendly cat like this one before. He came at us like he was thinking, "well it's about time!" He acted more like a dog than a cat.
Makes you wonder if the Moto-inu decided to pray to become a cat, too? ;)
KURAMAE SHRINE (藏前神社)
3-14-11 Kuramae, Taito-ku, Tokyo JAPAN
TEL: 03 3851 0617
BLOOMS: Early March