Located 30 minutes southward on a train ride from JR Sendai Station, Funaoka Castle Park, situated on a small hilltop, is famous for its large number of cherry trees and great views of Mt. Zao. It also includes 1,000 cherry trees at a glance along the Shiroishi River. But only a few people know this is also the locale of a famed novel of Shugoro Yamamoto, 'The Fir Trees Remain' and the NHK period drama from 1970 which was based on it. The protagonist of the novel was once the lord of Funaoka Castle. In cherry blossom season, the annual 'Shibata Sakura Festa' is held and many people visit this park to enjoy beautiful cherry blossoms and great views from the hilltop. For photos of cherry blossoms during the festival, please refer to my other photo essay.
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I was born in and grew up in Tokushima prefecture, and have lived in many places since then: Nishinomiya, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Fukuoka and Fukui. I am currently living in Yokohama City. All the places I lived, all the places I visited, I have loved dearly. The historical places where people lived, loved, suffered, and fought - places where I can still hear their heartbeats - mesmerize me. I'd like to retrace the footsteps of the people who lived in Japan a long long time ago, and introduce to you what they left behind on this soil.