hanami

A pop of color in a river of black and white outfits on crowded sidewalk

shigeki_kunashita_hanami

みんな白黒の服を着ているので、友達の青色の帽子が目立ちます。友達は「ハッセルブラッド」という古いフィルムカメラを持っています。

That’s my photographer friend Shigeki with the bright blue cap and the antique Hasselblad film camera. It was peak day for cherry blossoms at Kudanshita.

 

Random guy on telephone hijacks hanami photo of hipsters with matching bicycles and tans

cute_boy_telephone_bikes_hanami_yoyogi_park
電話している人がこの写真をハイジャックしてしまいました。お揃いの自転車とお揃いの日焼けをしたカップルもおしゃれですね。もちろん、代々木公園です。

This sensory overload, of course, is Yoyogi Park. Thanks to Shu for introducing me to the concept of photo “hijacking,”

Mamas’ club parties at Yasukuni shrine on a weekday afternoon

mama_drinking_yasukuni_jinja_hanami

有名な靖国神社で、若いママたちのグループが一緒に平日の昼間に飲んでいます。

Given its reputation as a place of political conflict and religious fervor, it’s a pleasant surprise to see this mamas’ club relaxing on a weekday, with giant plastic wine glasses, drinks, and strollers.

A rush of young office workers exiting the subway at Kudanshita

kudanshita_metro_exit_young_office_workers_hanami
九段下のメトロから出てくるとき、こんなにたくさんの若い会社員と高齢者の方達が一緒に千鳥ヶ淵に向かっているので驚きました。

Exiting the Metro at Kudanshita, I was unprepared for the rush of young office workers during the first week of April, mixed with seniors heading to see Chidorigafuchi.

A few of the many groups that gather together for cherry blossom season

zapolski_cosplay_shinjukugyoen_hanami

お花見に色々な種類の人たちが集まってきます。真ん中は、サンフランシスコから来た友達で、左にはカップル、右にはコスプレのグループが居ます。次も、花見で見た色々な人たちの写真を載せます。

This year I tried to focus on the different tribes that assemble beneath the cherry trees for hanami season in Tokyo. There were some scenes I expected, and many that were surprises. In this photo of Shinjuku Gyoen, my good friend from San Francisco’s back is in the middle, with a couple on the left and cosplayers on the right.

Do these cherry blossom “souvenir” cakes look good to you?

 

sakura_cakes_shinjukugyoen_hanami

このお花見のとき限定のお土産はおいしいでしょうか? パッケージはきれいだけれど、工場で作った味しかしないかもしれません。

An explosion of pink packaging envelopes these factory-produced cakes, available only during cherry blossom season. I would not classify this as a natural food.

Some people prefer full bloom, but I like to watch the petals fall and float off

cherry_petals_lakes_shinjukugyoen
満開の桜が好きな人はたくさんいますが、私は落ちている花びらが好きです。新宿御苑の池で。

In a pond at Shinjuku Gyoen.

Arakawa river red floodgate with cherry trees in full bloom

arakawa_floodgate_hanami_film
パナマ運河で働いたことのある日本の技師が荒川運河と水門を1920年代に建てました。花見にとても良い場所です。

A Japanese engineer who had worked on the Panama Canal created this important floodgate and canal alongside the Arakawa River in the 1920s. The red paint and the cherry blossoms make it scenic as well as functional.

UPDATE: Above is the film version, which took awhile to be developed. The colors seem much richer than the digital iPhone image below.

arakawa_floodgate_cherryblossoms

Just before summer starts, river in Nakameguro is magical

夏がはじまる前の、今の東京の季節が大好きです。桜で有名な中目黒の川です。もう水に足を入れたい気分です。

Just before summer starts is one of my favorite seasons in Tokyo. This is the river in Nakameguro famous for its cherry trees. I already want to put my feet in the water.

Twilight cherry blossoms at Aoyama cemetery

青山霊園は、夕暮れの桜の花びらがとても素敵です。

The road through Aoyama Cemetery is lined with gorgeous old cherry trees. I went there for AQ‘s office hanami party, and on the way home I took this photo at twilight.

Cherry blossoms rising above giant buddha in Shinjuku Ni Chome temple

この新宿の二丁目のお寺は静かで広いところです。ここの桜が人を引き付けます。仏陀の赤い服はよだれかけみたいです。見ていると、お腹が減ってきます。

This temple in Shinjuku’s Ni Chome is a quiet open space in a crowded part of the city. It’s a great juxtaposition of the sacred and ordinary, nature and the built environment.

This day, the cherry tree in bloom seems to have enticed more people to enter. I am always charmed by the red cloth bibs place on buddha and ojizo statues. The bibs make me think the statues are preparing for a meal.

Hanami-themed highball in a can

日本に来る前に、缶入りのハイボールを見たことがありませんでした。サントリーは花見用に特別な缶を作りました。

I had never seen a highball, or a whiskey and soda, in a can before coming to Japan. Here Suntory has dressed up the can for cherry blossom viewing.

Mature cherry trees cross Nakameguro river. Nearly full bloom.

花見に中目黒の川はとてもきれいです。ほとんど満開でした。2012年4月6日。

Nakameguro river is one of the best spots for viewing hanami. Last Friday was approximately 80%. Much family, student, friends, and co-worker public drinking and nature appreciation!

Today it’s windy and raining, so perhaps the season is already over as the petals fall fast.

Costume company has hanami party in Yoyogi Koen

コスチューム会社の花見パーティーです。忍者や鰐やライオンや熊や兎や蛙もいました。代々木公園で。

A costume company had a big hanami party in Yoyogi Koen. There was a ninja, crocodile, lion, bear, rabbit, and frog.