Saturday, April 02, 2005


The Sakura season has hit Japan. This is a very strange time of year. Sakura is the Japanese word for cherry blossom. There is a ritual called ‘Hanami’ which literally is ‘flower gazing’. This involves the students who are on holiday and dedicated others going to a park and putting a blue plastic tarpaulin (or some cardboard) on the concrete then loading themselves up with beer and food and making like Brett at my birthday.

E-chan and I decided to take advantage of the lovely spring weather and peruse the beginning of the Hanami season. We began our day at Yokohama’s Chinatown. This is quite well known and was totally packed with spring holidaymakers. Etsuko said that it was just like Taiwan, so it is kinda like China I suppose, not that the Taiwanese would agree I would imagine!

We then walked along the harbour to Yokohama station and decided to check out the flowers at Ueno Park (that’s the park with all the homeless). The Sakura are only just beginning to come out and next week I will brave the huge crowds to do some Hanami of my own with a group of other internationals led by my friend Noriko.

I also discovered a vending machine that wouldn’t last 5 seconds in NZ!!


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