Saturday, May 17, 2008


At the end of March and beginning of April in Tokyo is Hanami season. Hana means flower and Mi is to see, so hanami literally means flower viewing.

Hanami involves going to a park and hanging out with friends, snacking, and most importantly drinking.

It's quite a popular activity, to the point that Japanese businessmen sometimes skip out on work to enjoy hanami. Also, every major park is quite crowded.

Like everyone else, I took a ton of pictures. The first ones I've shown you were from Yoyogi park. There were a LOT of foreigners in Yoyogi. I'd say maybe 1/5 of the people in the park were non-Japanese, which is a really high percentage. The weather was nice on Saturday, March 29th. I drank quite a bit that night, and had quite a blast.

The following day it rained. I took some time to walk down to my local park and took some pictures on the way.

While it was cloudy, Inokashira was nice and quite crowded.

The entire park was completely full. I've never seen it even close to that busy.

Kichijoji was crowded as well. I felt like my neighborhood was all of a sudden the popular hang out.

During the week, I took some pictures around town. This was outside the window of my school.

On April 2nd, I took some time to take some more pictures at Inokashira, since it was a much nicer day.

The following Saturday, I returned yet again to take some pictures. It was really lovely and delightful despite how crowded it was. Everyone seemed to be having a great time.

This is a snack called Dango, which is a sweet snack made of rice cake and is quite like mochi. Mine was miso flavored, and quite delicious.

Here is the shrine by my house. It was best during hanami, no question.

Even the turtles were enjoying the day.

I've seen one or two turtles, but never this many.

On Sunday, April 6th, I went to a Fertility festival, which I found sadly a bit disappointing. Later on, I headed up to Wakoshi in Saitama to hang out with my friend. She took her to a park close to her house and it was unbelievable.

Unlike Inokashira or Yoyogi, the park in Wakoshi was practically empty. Also, it was the most gorgeous one during Hanami. Don't get me wrong, Yoyogi and Inokashira were both amazing, bu they were city parks. This was much more of a suburb park and less dramatic, but more open.

I also liked this scooter.

The typical "to prove I was there" picture. My hair and jacket are much shorter now.

As you can see, it's almost barren. It's only about 25 minutes outside of Ikebukuro and almost completely deserted.

I was a bit shocked at how some people, especially the women, dressed for going to the park.

After that day, all the cherry blossoms had fallen which basically ended hanami. It was quite a moving experience, and even though I was busy almost every day with school, I'm really glad I made time to see what I could.

This last picture was a building in Ikebukuro I saw while changing trains. It's quite unrelated, but I really like it.

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