22 May, 2016 The Twister Fruit Picker®: Our recent trip to Japan
On a recent trip to Japan, we visited Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto and Niigata and were welcomed by the sakura (cherry) trees. To the Japanese people, they are a metaphor for the ephemeral beauty of living and a sign of renewal/new beginnings. Sakura season is a joyful, ongoing tradition for hanami (flower viewing). The weather was a balmy 70 degrees and the cherry blossoms were in full bloom – it was absolutely breathtaking! Strolling along the banks of the Chiyoda-Kitanomarukoen district in Tokyo, we were stunned to see a single orange tree with ripe oranges. There is just one orange tree and it is rather unusual to see it among all the cherry trees. We really could have used The Twister Fruit Picker®!
A week later we visited Kyoto in western Japan. For more than one thousand years, it was the Imperial Capital of Japan and is currently the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture. It has great historic significance and is also known as the thousand-year capital. Our travels took us on a tour of the old Imperial Palace. We were surprised to learn that together, the orange tree and the cherry tree have a deep historical meaning. The first Emperor and Empress placed them in the front of the Imperial Palace – the orange tree on the left side and the cherry tree on the right side. The orange tree is a symbol of eternity and the cherry tree is a symbol of change. A replica of The Imperial Palace, complete with an orange and cherry tree, was also built at the Heian Shrine in Kyoto.
So why was there one orange tree in among all the cherry trees, and why was it bearing fruit? Were they winter oranges? Without The Twister Fruit Picker®, we weren’t able to confirm that they were ripe, but they certainly looked like they might be. You can draw your own conclusion, but we think whoever planted that orange tree must have been thinking about what it symbolized when placed among the cherry trees.