Spring has finally hit with full force in Japan, and Matsue is no exception. Some spring showers notwithstanding, weather is now warm and enjoyable, very much like that of Medellín. Seeing some blue sky after what seemed endless days of sitting grumpily in front of the gas heater, being more than three months of cold finally over makes you feel really good! Now we see what all that fuss about spring in movies and songs is about. The mountains are very green, flowers and bugs everywhere, makes you really appreciate what we take for granted in the tropics.
When spring comes, what's the first thing you wanna do? Get out of the house, of course! One of our first trips was with Yuri-san and some Kyrgyz friends to see the Paeony Festival in Daikonjima (giant raddish island or isla de los rábanos gigantes), a location near Matsue very famous by the beautiful gardens of these very large flowers. The paeony (peonía en español) , are called Botan here in Japan and they were brought to Japan some centuries ago from China, being the national flower there, by the way, as the Catleya is in Colombia. At first glance they seemed like malvaceae, but turns out that it is a Paeoniaceae, go figure. Never heard of that family before.
We went to a nice Japanese garden in Daikonjima, called the Yushien (由志園）. It was very beautiful and quite big, which was a relief considering that Japanese gardens as they appear in pictures tend to be deceptively small (everybody says in these cases: "But... it looked so big in the pictures!!"). Thankfully that was not the case here. They had a zen garden (seen in the picture above) and a beautiful Japanese garden around a pond. After taking a long walk through the garden we visited others in the island, but after seeing the Yushien they were pretty dissapointing, though the Japanese people running the other gardens were very kind and tried real hard to keep us entertained. After this we went to a Tabehoodai or "All you can eat" restaurant, but we didn't take no pics because we were very busy stuffing ourselves with, you guessed it, all we could eat. In these cases we usually go for the meat and this time it was no different... I have to say that some of our Kyrgyz friends really have, as Male puts it, " really, really deep bellies" (in her words: "como honditos, ¿no?!) I'm not gonna give any names, though, about who was the one with the deeper innards... (^_^')