Spring is approaching, the road is free again, and before sesshin we had the first new arrivals. We are eleven now (6 Japanese, 5 foreigners), and seven newcomers will arrive tomorrow.
In the warmer parts of Japan, like Tokyo or Osaka, the cherry blossoms have already fallen. Many Japanese celebrate this event with a pinic and lots of drinking. Here at Antaiji though, because of the colder climate, it will take another 10 days or so for the sakura to blossom.
Work has started again. There are still some amounts of snow sitting here and there, but most of it has melted by now. On the last day of the sesshin it snowed for one more last time (hopefully!), below you can see us during outside kinhin on the rainy fourth and the snowy fifth day: