女子 1500m 自由形 28分29秒57
I arrived in Matsuyama in January 2019. Prior to my arrival, I had done some research about the city. Almost all the websites and articles I had found, did mention two must see landmarks: Dogo onsen and the Matsuyama castle. There were so many pictures as well as online travel guides for those two places.
Some time after my arrival, I decided to explore the city a bit. As the weather was quite cold, I started with Dogo onsen which was in the walking distance from where I live. So on a nice Monday morning, I put on my warm coat and wore my sneakers and started my first adventure in Matsuyama. First thing I saw on my way to Dogo onsen, was Dogo park which I found quite peaceful and beautiful. I remember I kept wondering how mesmerizing the park would look in spring.
Finally, I got to the onsen and all the nice narrow streets around it. The streets were filled with different kinds of stores such as souvenir and sweet shops. I could see locals as well as travellers walking down the streets enjoying all kinds of snacks and sweets. I got to the Dogo onsen. The building’s traditional structure makes it distinct from its surroundings. So many people were posing for photos in front of the building. I enjoyed walking around the neighbourhood for about an hour and had a nice cup of coffee before I headed back home.
My first visit to Dogo was very nice and enjoyable. I really look forward to seeing the neighbourhood when cherry blossoms bloom and trees put their pretty green gowns on.
In about a week or so the Japanese cherry blossoms will be nearing full bloom and the landscape will be transformed into something a bit more enchanting for a brief period. Seeing these blossoms always signals a positive change and growth for me personally as well as a bit of excitement not only for the beauty of the flowers but also for the approaching warmth in the months to follow. I know there is usually a bittersweet association to the symbolism of these flowers in Japanese culture, but as an American I seem to only feel positively at their sight.
I don’t have any specific plans to enjoy hanami yet but I would really like to have a barbecue and enjoy the sights at night in a comfortable park with friends if possible. Do you have any special plans for hanami this year?