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**Hanami Party **

Dogen Z

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If you've never been to a hanami (cherry blossom viewing) party in Japan, watch the following video. It captures some of the mardi gras flavor of hanami parties at Ueno Park, Tokyo.

[youtube]I_llECWChMU&feature=related[/youtube]

But if you want to have your own, more sedate and traditional hanami party, and you're not in Japan. Get a glass of sake or white wine, if you prefer, and watch this video.

[youtube]keF-KYKKYeI&feature=related[/youtube]
 

konki_d

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<sighs thoughtfully>

I miss hanami parties, even though I never attended very many when I was living in Japan. I did love going about, though, and taking pictures of the cascading petals late in the blooming season of Spring. I lived in the Aomori countryside, so Spring was truly a gorgeous time of year, and much welcome after the long northern winters.

<sighs again>
 

Dogen Z

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Hanami at night

Blossom viewing during daytime can be glorious if its a nice day. The pink flower contrasts beautifully with the blue sky, making your picnic an unforgettable event. But hanami doesn't end at sunset. Some areas have been set with lamps to keep the revelry going til maybe 10 or 11 pm. Flowers lit from below produces a drastically different, maybe mystical effect.

dsc01356-1.jpg
 

Ashikaga

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The "Sakura Forecast" says the cherry trees will start blossoming sometime next week in the area we live in.

I am thinking of visiting Ashikaga Park nearby which is popular among people of Ashikaga for Hanami. Maybe I will snap some photos.

Spring is definitely in the air!!
 

epigene

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I'm sticking to alcohol/karaoke-free venues in our neighborhood, a very large botanical garden, gardens of a major business corporation opened to the public during the season, and the annual cherry blossom light-up.

c0069380_1136114-1.jpg
 

dreamer

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does anyone knows of good spots to enjoy cherry blossoms in the Kanto area? Since I am by myself I don't really imagine throwing out a big party but I'd like to do some sightseeing.
 

undrentide

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does anyone knows of good spots to enjoy cherry blossoms in the Kanto area? Since I am by myself I don't really imagine throwing out a big party but I'd like to do some sightseeing.

There are just too many places where you can enjoy sakura in Toyko alone... This site looks very helpful, as it also indicates the condition of sakura in each spot.
http://www.walkerplus.com/hanami/kanto/tokyo/
My recommendation is ツ静ァ窶卍ケニ停?凪?「ツ」 Chidorigafuchi which is listed at the very top.
:)
 

Dogen Z

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Yoyogi Park

A couple of trees in Yoyogi Park have already started to bloom. The flowers should be almost fully bloomed by next weekend.

If you are in this area, I suggest a visit because in addition to the flowers, there will be the usual weekend madness of Harajuku cosplay, rock bands, pantomine artists, takoyaki, etc. Even if you go alone, I think you'd have a good time.

Other suggestions can be found here, too:

http://classified.japantimes.com/ads/pdfs/20090319-cherry-blossom.pdf
 

epigene

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does anyone knows of good spots to enjoy cherry blossoms in the Kanto area? Since I am by myself I don't really imagine throwing out a big party but I'd like to do some sightseeing.

There are many spots for cherry blossom viewing, but the first place you should start is the Sumida River in your neighborhood! It is a great place to see, and with greater police control I've seen last year, making it very enjoyable. When in full bloom, you can walk 15 minutes along the river, and it's forever cherry blossoms!!
Last year, there was a traditional open-air tea shop (cha-mise) where the local geishas volunteered as waitresses and street performers offering traditional Japanese antics. (I wrote about it in my JREF blog last year, though I removed the photos... 😌 )

Ueno Park is known to be one of the oldest cherry blossom viewing locations dating back from the Edo Period, but the noise and crowd are not to my taste... 😌

And then, you can check out Chidorigafuchi that undrentide recommends! 👍
 

Dogen Z

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Blooming earlier than forecast

Many of the trees along the Meguro River in Nakameguro are already beginning to blossom, not just 4 or 5 flowers but whole branches. So by next weekend, they should be in full blossom. Hope the rain and wind die down so that we can enjoy their splendor longer.

BTW, Nakame is another place you could enjoy hanami by yourself--it gets crazy on the weekend and even some weekday nights.
 

MeAndroo

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Next month will be the first hanami party I've been to in 5 years. Though I cannot remember where we went when I was living in Tokyo, this year I will be eating, drinking, and ignoring the flowers at Himeji Castle. Hopefully the sakura bloom sometime soon in my neck of the woods as well, as I hear there is a lovely area near a mountain on the Japan Sea in Toyooka 👍

I'd love to see pictures folks have of the hanami scenery 🙂
 

Dogen Z

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Return of Winter

It's been so cold in the past few days that the blossoms aren't opening as predicted. Most trees have only a few flowers in bloom. And I saw a group trying to have a hanami party under a tree with only about a dozen or so flowers. It looked a little sad. :( It'll take a few more days until we have "Sakura Mankai."

OTOH, we have good news from the ski resorts--new snow! Kind of wet snow but snow neverthless. 🙂
 

dreamer

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Thank you for your suggestions people.
Thank to you all, I managed to enjoy the Hanami season despite being alone.
In the end, I went to Himeji, Osakajo koen, Kyoto, Yoyogi koen, walked around the Sumida river and even set foot in the infamous Ueno park in Tokyo.
Somehow, my favourite is still Himeji.

I will try to post pictures of what I managed to take around there later this week, but the quality is not terrible haha...
 

justin

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Very nice video and pictures! I hope one day I get to join a Hanami party.
 

Dogen Z

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Whoa...Dreamer went to Himeji during cherry blossom season!? I'm so jealous.
 

dreamer

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Hahaha...it was a tiring trip though ^^;
I ended up in a hanami party with unknown people and got pretty drunk by the time I arrived in Osaka where my coworker was waiting for me...

Still, I am amazed at how sociable Japanese people can become at time and how suddently they forget about you the next day.
 

Dogen Z

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...Still, I am amazed at how sociable Japanese people can become at time and how suddently they forget about you the next day.

In Japan, casual encounters are simply casual encounters, not the basis for any long-term relationship. You'll have to join some kind of group or "circle" for that.

How about sports? Take a look at the "Sports" thread. (Shameless plug 😊)
 
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