Sunday, April 5, 2009


It's cherry blossom season in Tokyo, and that means that everyone is engaging in hanami, or flower viewing. People line up to enter parks with cherry trees! Below, people line up to enter Rikugien Garden, a quiet and non-party hanami atmosphere.

Other parks are full of hanami picnickers: families, groups of friends and co-workers picnicking and drinking on plastic tarps beneath the blossoms. Below is Hikarigaoka Park, within walking distance of where Itsumi and I live.

The crowds of people in parks remind Itsumi of Fourth of July fireworks viewing crowds in the U.S. In the evening, lights shine on the cherry trees and the party continues.

These guys seem to be co-workers. The man in the front is wearing a head cloth that is traditional for construction workers.

Most people bring bento (boxed lunch) boxes and sake, wine or beer, but a few people bring McDonalds or KFC fast food.

Kids enjoy climbing trees, playing badminton and doing all the things kids do in parks.

Itsumi and I had a hanami picnic with friends at Yoyogi Park in conjunction with a peace festival.
Later in the evening we went to an Izakaya, or traditional Japanese bar. Japanese people don't like to drink without eating, so an Izakaya is really more like a restaurant.

Cherry blossoms are beautiful, some very pink and some more whitish, and they are everywhere. We can see some from the balcony of our apartment. It's too bad that hanami season only lasts for a couple of weeks, as I would enjoy going to a party like this every weekend!

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