Bliss is when your vacations take you to your dream destination. Although I visited many places, but two places in Japan, the island nation captivated me in a way I’ll remember forever. No wonders why it is called 'Land of the Rising Sun'.
First was Sakura. Sakura or cherry blossom is almost a religion in Japan. The simple, exhilarating but ephemeral blossom, heralding the onset of spring, seems to get the Japanese into a different mode. The sentiment is best explained by Ken Watanabe in the famous and my favorite movie, The Last Samurai), “The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life.” The fragrant flowers blooming in luxuriance are spectacular. The cherry blossom depends on weather and climate variations. Usually, it begins to bloom around in Okinawa in around January, passes through the middle of Japan in March, and finishes with a late bloom in northern Hokkaido in May. The lawns are dotted with cherry trees which, during peak, blossom in lovely pink. People here love cherry blossom to an extent that they even put it in ice cream.
The second was Hiroshima. Here you are transported back to August 6, 1945, when time stood still as the atomic bomb called the ‘Little Boy’ exploded 600 meters above what is known as the Atomic Bomb Dome. Today the building stands as a start reminder and is a UNESCO world heritage site. Near the Atomic Dome is the peace park, with the flame which will be lit until all nuclear weapons get destroyed. To understand the horrors of war and specifically a nuclear holocaust, a visit here is must. At night, the Dome is beautifully illuminated and reflects on the quiet waters of the river. Here one gets to meet many groups of Japanese people partying beneath a blooming cherry tree.