Over the past few months, Japan, like the rest of the world, has faced the confronting reality of COVID19.

Although it has been a very stressful time, the cherry blossoms were unbelievably beautiful at the end of March and the beginning of April and many people were able to enjoy their beauty.

Some of the more famous places for viewing cherry blossoms were closed this year.

Fortunately however they can be found almost everywhere in Japan, so many of us were still able to enjoy them during our daily walk around the neighbourhood or nearby park. This really lifted our spirits and made us incredibly happy. As the cherry blossoms began to fade at the end of April the wisteria started blooming.

Japan also has many famous places to view wisteria, but even some of these usually spectacular trees had to be cut to discourage visitors during the pandemic. The trees looked so sad. With the arrival of summer we are now waiting for hydrangeas and irises, which will bloom from the middle of June. These flowers too will continue to encourage us.

As restrictions loosen and we start to move forward nature has remained a constant in our lives, producing beautiful flowers throughout spring and now into summer. It has made us happy, given us hope and reminded us that life goes on and will be good again. I look forward to when many more people, including foreign travellers, are able to view Japan’s unbelievably beautiful flowers next year.

Thank you to Tomomi Iwasaki, AJS-Q Treasurer, for contributing to Conversations from Japan. Tomomi has been living in Japan during the COVID19 crisis.