Thursday, April 07, 2005

Let the Hanami Begin!

Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills

The cherry blossoms in Tokyo are finally in full bloom! I remember every year around this time for the past three years I wished I could be out enjoying the beautiful sakura instead of sitting in a stuffy office doing meaningless so-called work. This year, I really can.

I’ve been “hanami-ing” (looking at flowers) everyday this week. I have been sticking to the less popular places so far: Mori garden in Roppongi Hills (twice), the Nogizaka shrine (once) and the Aoyama cemetery (everyday walking Libby). I used the sakura in the cemetery as my gauge. Yesterday the flower to bud ratio was still only 50% but this morning, it was a sea of sakura the faintest shade of pink. This means I must now shift into high gear and cover all the sakura-meisho (famous place for viewing cherry blossom) within the next three or four days, before the petals start falling, which is beautiful in its own right (like pink snow flakes) but right now the mission is to look at them while they are on the tree.

A branch of the lone shidarezakura in front of Nogizaka shrine

So the battle plan goes like this: tomorrow I am taking my in-laws to Shinjuku-Gyoen, one of my favorite sakura viewing places, with a large parking lot. My in-laws need a break from walking after I dragged them the long route to Roppongi Hills and Azabu-Juban today. (I don’t think my MIL knew what she was getting into as I innocently pointed to the Mori tower from my house, “Look, it’s just there!”) On Saturday, we will brave the crowd and go to Kamakura (I’m hoping to snap a couple of pictures of the Giant Buddha with sakura branches swaying in front). Sunday we will go to either the Imperial Palace or Yoyogi park, and if we are insane enough, Ueno park. Next week, maybe we’ll go to the Meguro river and look at petals in the water.

Phew, it’s tough to hanami!


hana said...

Hi, from fotothing.
Hanami is so tough for me, too.But,
every year I try to go over my favorite place.
Especially, Tokyo Univ. in Komaga, there're some great sidarezakura, so in the middle of April u'd better go there!

フォトログのページから来ました。花見はやっぱり疲れるよね。でもいつもお気に入りを回りたくなるのよね。駒場の東大キャンパスの枝垂桜はかなり綺麗だから、中旬に行ってみるといいよん!(make sense?)

Frank said...

Lynn... what kind of food or drinks do hanami-goers usually enjoy while doing their things outdoor?
I'll brave the crowd too this weekend at Foggy Bottom trying to catch a glimpse of the peak of cherry blossom here in Washington DC.

Lynn said...

Wow! A cross-over from my photoblog! Hanaさんありがとう!友達も駒場公園の桜がすごくきれいですって。来週行ってみる。いい写真ができたらphotoblogにのせます。

Frank, people usually buy bento box (sushi, cooked food, etc.) and drink beer and sake under the sakura tree. It actually totally ruins the photo because they spread out blue tarp and there's no way you can avoid that getting into your frame. In that sense, the sakura in DC is a lot more photogenic.

Jaime said...

If I remeber correctly somebody died at last years cherry blossom festival in DC, they apparently drowned but we were all quite confused as to how that could have happened. Very sad though.

keiko said...

Hey Lynn, I didn't notice that you had a great photo blog and that you speak perfect Japanese! Can I ask what camera you use?


Lynn said...

Onto the cameras, I use two. I almost always have my Sony DSC-T1 in my pocket for snapshots, and when I go out with a purpose of taking photos, I also bring my Olympus C3040. But I am happy to report that a Nikon D70 will soon retire the C3040, as it is painstakingly slow and has a lot of imaging problems.