Wrong season, I know, but my random desktop image generator doesn’t care about picking the correct season. When this photo came up I was curious as I didn’t remember taking it. Why? Because I didn’t. My wife took this on her walk with TIS friends in Odawara during the cherry blossom season. Luckily she caught the name of the street in the lower left portion of the picture. This is 西海子小路 (さいかちこうじ or saikachikoji), near Odawara Station and Odawara Castle. This part of Odawara is one of the more famous places in Japan to view sakura.
I have been through the Odawara Station many times, but I have never made it to the castle itself. Today’s photo was taken by my better half when she met up with some other TIS moms for an outing while the sakura was blossoming (first week of April).
While the western media continues to fuel a panic, resulting in the USA and Britain now joining the French who immediately panicked, the cherry blossoms around Odawara Castle prepare to blossom.
Meanwhile, the levels of radiation in Tokyo remain about the same as they were back in December. Below 60 is normal. As of this writing, Tokyo sits below 20, yet the panic intensifies thanks to a media looking for ratings.
In my neck of the woods, the fear and panic isn’t much better. Stores in Oregon are reporting a run on potassium iodine tablets, leaving the shelves empty. Never mind that radiation from the equivalent of 1,000 Chernobyls was released closer to Oregon (mostly in the Pacific Ocean) during the nuclear testing of the 1950s and 1960s and taking potassium iodine wasn’t necessary then either.
Where are Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert when you need them? It’s time for another rally.
Those going to Hakone from Tokyo pass through the Odawara Train Station (小田原駅). I found it to be a rather sleek place. Like most of Japan, it was clean as a whistle. Although lacking in dirt, the station was not lacking in signage. If you look closely you can see an arrow pointing to Odawara Castle (小田原城). We didn’t check out the castle or any other on this trip except the one in Himeji. We figured that all others would pale in comparison so why bother. Next time we’ll skip Himeji and check out all the others.