April 10, 2011

Hanami in Showa Kinen Park

It was horribly windy and rainy yesterday, but today was deemed good enough weather for a hanami (cherry blossom viewing). I went with a group of friends -- along with about 30,000 other people (personal estimate) --  to Showa Kinen Park, where the blossoms were in full bloom.

It wasn't just the cherry blossoms: lavender, tulips, and daffodils were all blooming as well. 

Cherry blossom viewing is a famously ephermeral experience. There is really only a day or two that flowers are in full bloom, and trees are shedding their petals like confetti all the while. A hanami with blossoms still on the verge of blooming, or after the leaves have started to show through the blossoms is never quite as satisfying; you keep wondering about how beautiful it could have been.

 Some old men sit under a tree to drink beer and catch up. Public drinking is mandatory for hanami.

There were so many babies and children at the park that I briefly wondered if the birthrate was truly decreasing in Japan. (1.37 births per woman in 2009, and not going up.)

There were definitely more small dogs than babies, though. This one had purin (flan) in its dog dish. Perhaps the extra sugar explains why it was humping that poor girl's leg.

A group of papillon owners decided to get together at the park with their dogs. (So this is where dog strollers come in handy!) They took a moment for a photo op, bewildering the dogs when they all backed away to start snapping photos.


 But only one family thought to bring their rabbit.

Pinker than the usual variety but more sparingly placed.

A picnic in Japan is a little bit more complicated than bringing a blanket and some sandwiches. There were more than a few camping tents pitched on the grass!
The river in the park was completely dry, allowing people to walk across it.

1 comment:

tigerchanter said...

Beautiful shots. Thanks for sharing! :)