Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sakura season (aka Hanami) 2014

Winters in Japan are long. For months, the weather is cold, dreary, and sometimes snowy. The arrival of sakura season - known as hanami - in Japan marks the end of winter and beginning of spring. As the weather warms region by region, the sakura trees bloom. The blooming progress is very closely predicted, mapped, and watched. And the locals have one hell of a time celebrating the end of the dreary season and start of something much nicer.

There are a number of key sakura viewing spots in Tokyo, Here's a medley of shots from a few places in Tokyo, starting with Ueno Park:
Oh yes, you will have lots and lots of company...

Groups reserve spots in advance.
 More after the jump:

The street stalls are a big part of the fun.

Make your own slushie!

Hello my little friend. Joining me on this sakurabration was a vintage SD Kamen Rider keshi gomu figure with removable sofubi mask. (You know you are a Nerd with a capital "N" if you got all that the first read through. Welcome to Nirdvana.) Gold body version was 7-11 exclusive. I need to write these guys up one of these days.

This was not as tasty as it looks. the gooey coating around the strawberry was hard and sticky. No bueno.

We are kawaii. Please devour us.

Hanami Inu.

I believe this is the first time I've been able to photograph individual blossoms. Canon S120 - I'm lurvin' it.

There's a little amusement park in Ueno Park. Rides are cheap and cheesy and fun. Food in this little oasis is cheap, too.

KR unmasked.

Literally seconds after this shot was taken, the Tower of Babble On collapsed...

Flower panda. Creepy and yet...actually, just creepy.
Nakano also has a lot of nice trees:
 So does Shibuya:

Hanami is a great time to visit Japan. The only trick is the timing, since the season is short, lasting just 1-2 weeks before the petals start falling, creating a sakura petal carpet, which is also nice.


snakepunchesfox said...

Gorgeous!! Thanks Andy.

andy b said...

Glad you enjoyed the post! :O)

Isabella said...

Where did you take the photos?
Most looks like Ueno Koen, but of course I may be wrong.
I've also tried this strawberry thing ang unfortunatelly my reaction was similar ;)

Take care!

andy b said...

Mostly Ueno Park. Yeah, gotta be careful with some of those stall foods. I wanted to try some of the minis shaped like Doraemon and other characters, but they'd only sell them in batches of 20. :p

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