The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Hanami '09

This is our third hanami ("flower viewing", specifically of the sakura (cherry) blossoms) season in Japan, but Zak's first one. He's still too young to appreciate why the blooming of these flowers is the most highly anticipated event of the year for the Japanese, but he enjoyed the walk in the lovely warm spring weather. It really is such a shame that these beautiful flowers are so short-lived (about one week), but I suppose that's one of the reasons why the season is so highly anticipated (with weather forecasts around this time being dominated by predictions of when the sakura will bloom all around Japan). Another reason, I've been told, is not really so much for the aesthetics of these flowers, but more for the beer drinking and partying that is synonymous with hanami.

Here are a few shots I took on the weekend, which was the peak time for hanami.

Down one of the nearby river paths lined with trees full of sakura blossoms:

Close-up of the blossoms; and Zak touching them:

People having hanami picnics under the trees (but I think these 'picnics' should be more correctly termed just-another-reason-to-drink-beer-in-the-middle-of-the-day picnics - for most people; and yet more blossoms:

I wonder how many more hanami seasons we'll get to enjoy?

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