2020 Apr 9, Sakura
Posted: 9 April 2020
Author: Amanda Marble
Sakura in a nearby park!
Sakura beautifully reflected in the pond.
Spring is finally here, which means the sakura are blooming! I am not participating in any organized hanami (flower-viewing) parties this year but I was able to go around and do my own sort of hanami where I just went around and took photos.
Hanami is typically a time when you go out to the park with a picnic blanket with a group of friends or your family and you day-drink and eat and just relax under the sakura trees. I got to do it twice last year – once in Joetsu near Takada Castle, which was just PACKED full of people, and then again in Tokamachi itself in a considerably less packed park near a temple.
(These two photos above are from last year at Joetsu!)
Sakura is beloved in Japan so it is understandable that folks are defiant in wanting to do hanami, albeit ill-advised in my opinion. When I was out it was mostly soloists walking around with their dogs, but at one park I did see people in groups of two sitting on benches appreciating the scenery.
There are a lot of limited edition sakura-themed things that go on sale. Starbucks is notorious for their overpriced, but ADORABLE merchandise. The 100yen stores (similar to dollar stores back home but much better quality) also sell a lot of cute decorations, some of which I have hung up around my bedroom. What I don’t understand is why they start selling these things from February to early March, when most of the trees start blooming around early April. It’s like if a store only put out Christmas decorations from October to November and put a hard stop before Black Friday.
I hope I can do a real hanami again next year.
General Affairs Department, Policy Planning Division, Public Relations Section
Address: 3 Chome-3 Chitosecho, Tokamachi-shi, Niigata-ken 948-0067 (2nd floor of the central government office)
Phone number: +81-25-757-3112
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