So I just found out that back in year 2011 – 2012, Ueno Juri went to the Himalayas in search of sakura (cherry blossom) for some TV program. I’ve always loved Japanese travel shows, even though most of them that I’ve watched before didn’t have subs, I still found them very nice and made me want to go too. I suppose, it’s how they film certain things. Also bonus points when a certain actor/actress travel in the show xD
*Too bad I don’t have a good internet connection to get high quality of this show, this will have to do.
This is the official website
To be honest, I didn’t know sakura also exists in these parts of the world. I’ve always thought that only Japan has them. However, I do think that Japan is more famed for sakura than places like Tibet or Nepal. From what I understand so far from this program, it seems that sakura is quite scarce but present in the mountains, even as high as 2000m.
Sakura in Nepal is used for firewood. While in Japan, you don’t see people chop them down and burn for fire right? Basically, sakura in Japan is more appreciated for its beauty especially for hanami events whereas in these places, they’re for living.
Different places have different perception towards sakura.
When she tried that thingy below, I wondered if it was really tasty like soba as she claimed haha…
Wow…that view was breathtaking!
She told the guide it was her first time riding on top of a bus. Well yea, obviously, they don’t do that in Japan.
The guide taught her a local song that they always sing when climbing mountains. She asked why do they sing while climbing because normally, you’ll be out of breath already…but the guide said it actually makes climbing easier. She was still doubtful but later on agreed when they were climbing up the mountain ^^
Found a sakura tree at this person’s house. Apparently, he loves flowers so it’s surrounded with all kinds of them.
He recommended a hanami spot for Juri-chan ^^
Interviewing the locals what they think of sakura.
Time to leave…
So where will the next spot be?
Side note: I kinda like that guide. He seemed very friendly.
Next up CHINA!
WOW….this is BEAUTIFUL!!!
These people are so friendly ^^ The young girl greeted her first and asked where she came from. After Juri-chan said she came from Japan, they said that was quite far. She invited her to the house and introduced her family.
After meeting the father, mother and daughter, she explored their animals which included a cow, a pig and chickens.
LOL okay…That must be her first time holding a live chicken ^^
Sasuga Juri-chan, couldn’t stand watching the chicken suffer being upside down so she held it up.
Chatting and eating…so the girl was also 25 years old like Juri-chan but she already has a daughter, 5 years old.
In the morning, Juri-chan followed them to do some work.
Awwww….the kid was warming up to Juri-chan…
Juri-chan helped them with some farming.
Time for the feast. Every year, there’s a festival around this time so Juri-chan came at the right timing.
Juri-chan obviously not used to seeing pig being slaughtered I guess.
Aww…she couldn’t stand it so she ran away…
So Rii-san took her for a walk at her favorite spot. They chatted and Juri-chan asked her how does it feel to be a mother, has anything changed? To which she replied, free time gets less and less but having her daughter is a great thing.
Then she asked Juri-chan how is her work like, very busy? Then she also asked whether she had any desire to get married?
Juri-chan replied, she has no desire to get married yet but she’d like to create her own form of happiness in her own way. Judging from the way she answered that, it seemed that she’s not in a hurry to marry though…perhaps she likes to enjoy her single life more? Well 25 years old is still young imho.
I found the Rii-san’s story was quite sad. After giving birth to her daughter, her husband apparently left them?! She thinks he didn’t like that she gave birth to a daughter, instead of a son. To which, Juri-chan asked giving birth to a daughter is bad?
Juri-chan then talked about her taiga drama, Gou where her character gave birth to girls for so many times until she got a boy. *I watched Gou, enjoyed it quite a lot and her role was nice.*
She then consoled her ‘Next time can find another husband, a good one. You’re still young and there are still more chances.’ Good advice, Juri-chan.
Getting ready for the festival. Juri-chan wanted to prepare something too, something Japanese. The Rii-san said she’s free to use anything as long as the dish prepared is for 10 people.
So we got to see Chef Juri in action ^^
Her dish was delicious ^^
They prepared their traditional costume for Juri-chan as well and off they went for the main event of the festival.
That was a really tall ladder! Also, what’s interesting is the steps were all made of katana! Juri-chan couldn’t believe that they’ll be climbing the ladder because the katana looked very sharp.
After the event, it was time to leave….
Awww….the little girl cried T__T
Before leaving, Juri-chan told Rii-san she’ll also strive to be a great mother in the future.
When you think about it, Juri-chan was just a stranger until a few days ago. Having stayed a few days and shared stories especially with Rii-san who is the same age as her, it was quite touching to part ways.
Even Juri-chan started to tear up. Ahhh…that was touching.
She returned to Japan, this time at Okinawa during February.
So actually, sakura came from the Himalayans O_O The birds then may have brought the seeds across China and somehow arrived at Japan and Okinawa – as according to the experts.
The last destination was Tohoku in March, 2012.
A single sakura tree remained even after the tsunami.
She joined a group of volunteers to plant sakura trees.
Overall: I like this show. All the more with Juri-chan in it. I especially find her China trip to be quite memorable, the warmth of the locals accepting her and making her feel like home during the stay. You can see how much they’ve enjoyed her company during those few days. That was touching and the little girl was cute too. I think there’s also a sense of connection because Rii-san is the same age as her but they lead very different lives. I like the bit when they talked about each other, sharing experiences, and the advice Juri-chan gave her. I totally agree with her – “In the future, you might find love again, good husband. For now, you might be satisfied with how you live, but you’re still young and have more chances in the future. Your decisions/perspectives might change soon.” Basically, her telling Rii-san to not give up and aim for better ^^
Although the show was supposed to focus on the Sakura theme, I think besides having that, it’s also the experience to see a different culture and how they live. I have to say, this widened my knowledge on sakura too.