It is my first spring in Japan and I was really looking forward to it, not only because I was looking forward to warmer weather, but especially for the famous cherry blossoms. In the fall and over the winter I had been noticing the many gnarly old cherry trees all over the place, at the castle grounds, in various small parks and along my street, also known as “Station North Cherry Tree Road” (駅北桜道). I had expected it to be nice, but it far exceeded my expectations. What a glorious celebration of springtime! Here are some pictures from Ako and especially from the Ako castle grounds.