The location is Kyoto, called Koto in the past, and the beginning of the book is as beautiful as a Zen painting. The first pages display the beauty of sakura in Arashiyama, and the atmosphere is familiar to me since I was lucky to see those places in spring. Arashiyama is a district in Kyoto and its name 嵐山 means "Stormy Mountain." It is designated a Place of Scenic Beauty in Japan.
Its train station:
It is a charming place.
On the very first page of the book, Chieko admires few violas hidden in a tree, just like these ones I would imagine:
A rickshaw, nowadays hired only by tourists:
A solitary man in this splendid scenery:
This novel describes the beauty of the Japanese spring so accurately.
A pond of lotuses would look like this in mid-April:
After 50 pages, a wedding is already on the horizon in the book. And here is a real one - a beautiful couple in a romantic spot by the Ooi River.