Spring is not just in the air; it has officially arrived. For the past two weekends, people in this part of Japan have been celebrating spring’s arrival by having picnics and parties in local parks. Japanese people enjoy picnics at any point in the year (maybe not Winter), but the most anticipated season is cherry blossom or hanami season. In Japan, cheery blossoms are know as “sakura” 桜 and the act of going out to look at the cherry blossoms and potentially picnic or party in their midst is referred to as “hanami” 花見．
Last year was my first opportunity to enjoy Hanami in Japan. I went to several parties and family outings during the few weeks of the cherry blossom season. I was able to enjoy the revelry and more “hard core” drinking around Osaka Castle Park and then the following weekend, spend quiet time having wonderful picnics with my in-laws and wife in different part of the Kansai area.
These are some pictures I snapped of some cherry cheers close to my apartment.
I assume that this weekend may be one of the last weekends for Hanami in this part of Japan. Already, lots of the cherry blossoms have begun to fall off the trees. Next year it will be such a great experience to enjoy this very Japanese tradition with my wife and new little one!