I learned this week that there is a special word for the flurry of petals raining down in the breeze – 花吹雪 (hanafubuki) – which is a beautiful sight of tiny pink flakes floating down from above. My Japanese friends especially love hanafubuki, but part of me felt that this is like celebrating the demise of the very thing that they have come to see. Maybe this is a more realistic acceptance that sakura season has to end, whilst I’m the unrealistic one who can’t accept that the party’s nearly over. Either way, I’m feeling a bit glum that the sakura petals have all fluttered off the trees, and the clouds of pink on the branches that the nation has been revelling in for the last week or so have all given way for the new green leaves.
This post contains some photos reflecting on a week in which Tokyo went crazy for cherry bossoms – and is now waiting until for it to happen briefly again next year.
Meguro River at Nakameguro (yozakura – night time hanami):
Does this look like the centre of atomic destruction? It was hard to imagine that these sakura, just coming out, are in the park that marks the hypocentre of the Nagasaki atomic bomb explosion. Nagasaki has recovered and is now a very scenic, cosmopolitan, thriving city.
This is the third in a series of Nagasaki posts, from my weekend visit to Nagasaki a few weeks ago - the others are here and here.
I was at Nakameguro last night, with a few thousand of my newest Tokyo friends, to enjoy the sakura along the Meguro River now at full bloom.
There was a carnival atmosphere as people walked along the river, sat on plastic sheets and drank sake/beer, had street parties and took LOTS of photos. All the shops along the riverside were set up as cafes – even the hair salons and clothes boutiques were transformed into temporary cafes with seats on the footpath for passers by to enjoy a drink and watch the view.
Click on the above photo for full size.
Here are some photos taken tonight from my mobile phone camera of the hill leading up from Shibuya Station to the Sakura-ga-oka district – appropriately named at this time of year, with the row of cherry blossoms. Bring on the weekend and hanami!
It’s kind of surreal to be enjoying cherry blossoms at what was the hypocentre of atomic destruction.
The cherry blossoms have started to bloom. These ones are at a shrine at the bottom of the Mt Inasa ropeway.
Everyone’s waiting for spring! Pink lanterns sponsored by local shops herald the upcoming cherry blossom festival (28 March) in Shibuya.