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(Cherry Blossom Viewing)

This weekend fell on the height of Somei Yoshino cherry in bloom here in Tokyo.

We had wonderful weather on Saturday and a lot of people were out picnicking and strolling all over our neighborhood, which has some excellent spots for enjoying the view, with grand cherry trees lined up along the local stream. (I think I wrote about it last year.)

Sunday was cloudy, but I decided to go to Asakusa and check out the famous Cherry Blossom Festival there along the banks of the Sumida River. There was a big turnout but not that much, probably because people expected rain. There were people spreading out mats for hanami viewing and picnicking, but there were no drunks or karaoke! I was pleasantly surprised and happy to see so many enjoying the view without geting to loud. (I suspect the community laid out rules on hanami parties.)

Despite the weather, the view was beautiful, especially because of the huge number of cherry trees on both side of the Sumida River. You can walk 15 minutes, and you see cherry trees forever!

There was an open-air tea shop featuring the geishas of Mukoujima (near Asakusa) helping out as waitresses.

In addition to the concession stands that show up at such events, I ran into an old-style Japanese street performance, by a professional performer and his semi-pro wife.

For those interested in seeing them, I've taken a couple of video clips of them, but I forgot to record it in standard size, so the resolution is lousy.
Nankin-tamasudare act
Performance by a pro

For more photos of the beautiful blossoms, check out my album at Photobucket:
Cherry Blossom Festival at Sumida River


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