Sunday, March 30, 2014

Early Tokyo Hanami

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.

Essentials

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

8 comments:

Christine said...

Beautiful! So lucky it's spring there already :)

Rachel Anastasia said...

I had such a WONDERFUL time! And the sakura be poppin' back in Victoria too! I bought a cute Moomin leisure sheet at the book store, can't wait to use it!

thisbeijinglife said...

Ahh it looks lovely Vivian! And your 5th Spring too...wow, I bet the time has flown by! I managed to find the cherry blossom park in Beijing too. There were so many trees and the weather was gorgeous. I'll post some pics soon. Joella :-)

Malice said...

So pretty! Wish one year I could see the cherry blossom. I have been twice and I just missed it the second time except for one tree I saw up on Mount Akagi?

エメリ said...

Beautiful sakura! All these Hanami pics makes me want to go to Japan immediately! :D

Vivian said...

Thank you everyone for the lovely comments! It was such a fun time, and Rachel it was amazing having you around!!

Andy Omae said...

I wish I had known more people when I was there last month, or I would have gone on a picnic. It was just mom and I taking pictures of Hanami all over the place. The Meguro River was my favorite place to take pictures. Even Disneyland had some blossoms.

I just found your blog today, and I think it's AWESOME! Keep up the great work!

Vivian said...

Andy: Thank you so much!! Hope you come back soon!! Glad you caught the short hanami season!