Arashiyama, Kyoto, Kansai – Japan

Cherry blossom season is nothing if not a poignant time in Japan. Not only are the lush, pink cherry trees quite a sight to behold and be in the presence of, but the blossoms come attached to a special significance to the Japanese people that goes back hundreds of years. In Japan, cherry blossoms are seen as symbolic reminders of how very beautiful, but fleeting, life can be. For that reason, cherry blossom season in general is a time for people to pause, reflect, and spend time considering what’s most important in life, relishing every moment and experience.

Wonderwall does not depict the stunningly fragile beauty of spring cherry blossoms in Japan. However, it was captured during cherry blossom season, so it was impossible not to look at the stately and mysterious natural bamboo of Arahiyama’s Bamboo Forest without being aware of everything that time of year is all about in Japan. Bamboo Forest features several walking pathways for those that visit. A peaceful morning or afternoon spent wandering amongst the bamboo is nothing if not a clarifying experience for the mind and spirit alike. In the winter, it can snow there, giving the awe-inspiring bamboo an even eerier, more mysterious feeling.

Wonderwall was captured at sunrise, so the forest was just starting to wake up. The muted dove greys and dusty lilacs of dawn slowly melted away as the sun rose, revealing the cool sea green of the bamboo and weathered, understated taupe of the tall grasses that surrounded me. It truly was like a wonderful wall, protecting and sheltering me as the sun rose to give life to another beautiful spring day. Ahead of me on the path, I could see the muted colors of the bamboo gradually giving way to the juicy chartreuses and vibrant limes of the lush foliage ahead.


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