Hanami, translated literally means "flower viewing." This the term for going out and looking at cherry blossoms in bloom. I always wondered what was the deal with the Japanese and their cherry blossoms. I mean its a tree with flowers. It would be like driving through the blue ridge mountains and seeing the leaves change in autumn. whoopedy do! You've seen it, its beautiful, move on. It wasn't until I came to Japan that I discovered the true spiritual nature of Hanami. It's not about the flowers and how the trees are lined up to create a beautiful array of color that stimulates the mind, body and soul. No no, its much more than that. Its about throwing a tarp or blanket down with your friends anywhere there is a cherry blossom tree. Everyone brings food and lots of "beverages." It turns into an all out party in Japan for about two weeks. Kim and I celebrated our Hanami in Naka Meguro on a Friday night. We spent it with some of her co-workers and literally we had a tarp down on a sidewalk just eating, drinking and socializing.....good times.
I saw literally a group of about 30 people on a Monday night behind our apartment in our hideous gravel park that contains one cherry blossom tree celebrating Hanami. I have to say I truly embraced Hanami, what a fantastic event. We also went to Shinjuku Koen to view the cherry blossoms there and I must say that is probably one of the the nicest parks I've been to. Extremely well landscaped and the cherry blossoms were not half bad either. All pics are from Shinjuku Koen.
The legions of people celebrating Hanami
Look at the beautiful cherry blossom it is glorious!