Saturday, April 23, 2016

Spring Sakura Tradition at the Japanese Mint

I just found out about the Hiroshima Mint's (yes, as in money) collection of 56 different varieties of cherry blossom (sakura) trees last year. I had overbooked myself and didn't make it to see them, so I made it a priority this year. I'm so glad I went. Did you know there are green-flowered cherry blossom trees? I didn't until last week and I loved them!

Originally my friend Hyla, who founded, found out about the mint on the fabulous English website, The mint is only about 45 minutes away from Iwakuni, in Itsukaichi. It is only open for about a week, and we went towards the end of the season, on a Monday, to avoid the large crowds that visit during the weekend. The cherry blossoms at the mint tend to bloom later than the rest of the cherry blossom trees in the area, around mid-April. We went April 18th.

Actual cherries?!
Loved the heart that formed... there were several trees that had them.

The mint also offered commemorative coins, but the only one I wanted, with the Kintai Bridge, was sold out. The little shop is in the back right corner of the garden as you enter.

Parking is a pain... the mint doesn't have any. I doubt it was legal, but we ate lunch at the Coco's restaurant (not curry... a variety of tasty dishes, though), so I just parked there and walked across the street to the mint for the 45 minutes worth of photos I took. Another friend parked about a kilometer down the road in a store's parking structure.

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