Hanami

One of the most popular activities during cherry blossom (sakura) season in Japan is hanami (flower viewing), the Japanese tradition of gathering under cherry blossoms to eat, drink, view and be merry – an outdoor drinking party or picnic during the daytime or at night.

As you can imagine, the best spots for hanami are very popular, so companies send their newest or youngest employee to save the spot for the rest of the people, like this poor, lonely soul.

Hanami1

Usually, beer and food bought from a nearby konbini are consumed in mass quantities.  The picture below was taken at Kitanomaru Park.  These guys (salarymen) in suits look like they should be working, no?

Hanami2

Alternatively, others eat in seating areas under cherry blossom trees set up in nearby food stalls as shown in this picture taken at the nearby Yasukuni Shrine (to be the subject of a future blog post) …

Hanami4

… or a more intimate, single table setting taken at the streets beside Meguro River.

Hanami5

Several mothers with their young children gather at a park in Tokyo Midtown, with the baby strollers properly lined up.

Hanami6

This year, I went with a couple visiting from Canada and one of our interpreters at work for small hanami picnic at Yoyogi Park.

Hanami3

13 thoughts on “Hanami

  1. Yes, I did – visited the shrine and the surrounding area one day on my way home after work. Didn’t stay to enjoy hanami there though 😦

    I just also commented on your blog post.

      • > have you ever been in the museum at Yasukuni Shrine?

        No, I didn’t get a chance to visit the museum. Maybe this is a good reason to visit Yasukini again another time (when I have more time to explore).

        • It tells the history of the wars that Japan fought in…up to WW2.
          Of course, from Japan’s perspective.

          In the WW2 history that I learned in American school as a kid is slanted in favor of America. Japan’s version, of course, is the other way.

          I think it’s best to hear both sides…because the truth is probably in the middle.

          Also, that museum has last letters from Kamikaze pilots to their loved ones.

          I wrote a post about it. Here:
          http://tokyo5.wordpress.com/2008/08/04/sixty-three-years-ago/

  2. Aha. I miss Tokyo now. A LOT!! 😦

    And that baby strollers thing reminds me – I saw a huge parking lot of those things – huge infact HUGE and people lined these things in a disciplined way. Where? It was DisneyLand!!

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