This weekend marked the start of the fleeting hanami season, which literally means 'flower viewing'. For the fifth spring (fifth! gah!!) in a row, I engaged in this traditional activity, complete with a leisure sheet, sweets, snack and various alcoholic beverages. It was one perhaps the best hanami I've had in Japan, for various reasons: the weather was mild and sunny, the park was peaceful, gorgeous and quiet (location undisclosed!), and I was surrounded with some people I truly cherish, such a longtime friends and even Rachel, a visiting friend from Canada.
The sakura were sparse and small, but they were there, and we found a nice spot under a cherry tree. Everyone brought hanami essentials, including traditional Japanese sweets, fried chicken, sparkling wine, craft beers, red wine, Tim Tams, and plastic plates and cutlery, all spread out on the leisure sheet. We shared drinks and had a photo shoot right before dusk, and we continued the party downtown Tokyo with some nighttime hanami at Roppongi Hills.
We had a long drive with loud music and chu hai's, belted out Kate Bush, Soul Decision (hey, it's Canadian) and The Knife, and went to Tokyo Tower to show Rachel; a must-see for any Tokyo guest, along with the seedy side of Roppongi, from the safety of a car. Hanami season is not over yet, but the flowers are so ephemeral and there's only a small chance to catch them in full bloom and in good weather. Times like these make me feel so lucky to live here.
|This is hanami.|
|Rachel's first hanami!|
|We're seasoned hanami'ers|
|Sakura be poppin'|
|Under the cherry tree|
|Nighttime hanami is exquisite|
|Darker shade of pink|
|Group shot, taken from an admirer|
|Taking a photo of the photographer|