Every year when the cherry blossom do their thing at Mastumoto castle there is a light up event in the evening complete with a concert of haunting shakuhachi (bamboo flute) koto and drum music, sweet dumplings or hearty pork and veggie soup and a tea ceremony.
Every year this festival runs for just one week.
And every year I wait for a rainy day as I think the whole thing is just that much more beautiful and haunting in the rain and it is also less crowded as not so many people feel that way.
It's got so that if it starts raining in the cherry blossom season the girls get excited and come running
'It's raining!! We can go to Matsumoto Castle tonight, right?!!'
Yup, that's right.
It really is beautiful:
It was so cold the rain turned to sleet but that just meant that the lights all got misty and there was a kind of eerie glow. Just added to the atmosphere.
Trying to get a nice picture of the girls and the cherry blossom turned out to be more difficult than I hoped.....
'There's a light in Amy's face. Let me try that again.'
Meg, just stand normally...
Yeah, that's much better Amy....
So I gave up and took another picture of the beautiful castle uninterrupted by monkeys: