My children's school started as usual. My daughter became 6th grader and my son 4th. I felt spring break this time was quite short. I think it's because we have been restless after the disaster worrying about shortage of foodstuff and gasoline as well as rolling blackouts. We are doing fine which is one of the most valuable thing in life.
In Tokyo area the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The following picture is one in my area. In this season Japanese people get together under the cherry blossom trees and drink sake and sing aloud which is typical scenery in this season. But this year it is different. After the eastern Japan disaster everyone in Japan have a deserve feeling of having a binge. Because of power shortage most of public facilities has been saving electricity by stopping light up during nights.
When I visited Ueno Park which is renown for cherry blossom party or 'Hanami' in Japanese a few days ago I found a sign of cancellation of Cherry blossom Festival and when it's dark we could hardly see the beautiful flowers without lights. No wonder there was not many people even if it's the top season.
On the other hand, I heard some brewing company in disaster area are complaining about secondary damage because of decrease in consumption of alcohol as the result of Japanese people's restraint reaction after the disaster.
The following picture is 'kobushi' which is Japanese native magnolia. They are now at their peak now and decorates the entrance to the houses complex where our house is.
You can see the rows of kobushi trees at the entrance. This is my favorite scenery every year. Here is where swimming school bus stops and I remember I used to wait for the bus with my kids. My children used to go to the swimming school since 2006 until 2009 before we left for Holland.
Today it's windy but this south wind made temperature warmer.
What is shame is that after the Fukushima reactors accident I don't want to dry my laundry outside which I always did on sunny days. Maybe there is no harm to our health even if we dry the laundry outside but so far I have never heard that experts say it's safe. That's why I don't feel like doing it just in case.
Last night there was a strong aftershock of M7.4. We felt strong shaking here in Chiba but not so much as 3.11 quake. The intensity in the area near the epicenter was so big that power outage occurred in wide area in Tohoku.
My husband has been accompanying an American photo journalist since yesterday and they were staying in a hotel in Sendai at that time. He called me after the quake telling their safety and told me that they had to go to a shelter which is a school gym nearby because of blackout. Japan Meteorological Agency announced warning of tsunami but fortunately there was no tsunami this time and they lifted the warning an hour later.
Lastly I want to show the picture of my tulip in the garden. I want you to look at a small bud coming out. I expect I can see the first tulip flower soon!