There's an old guy who lives in an apartment building near me who also collects and raises Bonsai trees. I see him outside everyday taking care of the trees that are placed outside of his apartment building. What is wonderful about them is not only their beauty and the art, but the fact that they are worth hundreds of dollars each yet he doesn't lock them up and no one steals them or vandalizes them.
You know what would happen to them overnight in the USA, right?
Anyway, I walked by on Thursday and was very happily surprised to see the first blossoms in Tokyo that I have seen this year so far. They were on one of the old guy's Bonsai trees. I asked if I could take a picture and he was very happy to allow me to do so. So here I want to share them with you.
The first blossoms of 2013. For me, these represent good fortune and prosperity!
This is a photo of the entire Bonsai tree. I'd say it was about 2 feet tall (about 60 centimeters) tall and about twenty years old. The old guy told me that the blossoms were out "About a week to two weeks early this year." That surprised me because this winter has been so cold and snowy. I guess Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing time) is going to come early this year!
Also, since those were the only plum blossom flowers I've seen in Tokyo so far, I wanted to share some more great Mt. Fuji photos I have. This one was taken by my friend, Yuki Koizumi.... Beautiful!
This next few were taken near my house by the Tamagawa River on Feb. 17, 2013. In the background, Mt. Fuji. In the middle, you can see the Japanese "Boys of Summer" (baseball players) playing baseball in February while it's freezing cold outside (the puddles on the ground were frozen!)
This one reminds me of one of Hokusai's "36 Views of Mt. Fuji" in that in some of those, it's difficult to pick out Mt. Fuji.... But there she is in the very middle on the horizon covered in snow!
To see more beautiful images of Mt. Fuji and Japan see: Images of Mt. Fuji and Isehara, in Kanagawa, Japan at New Year