After a VERY frustrating week last week, I was looking forward to celebrating hanami with friends. Like most of my experiences in Japan, it turned out to be the complete opposite to what I expected, but that just added to the enjoyment. After a week of rage and kamikaze-type missions, I had images of sitting zen-like beneath the sakura, and achieving nirvana after some intense, yet reflective meditation. This was not to be.
In our usual haphazard fashion, we arrived late and the light was fading fast, which meant many lost photo opportunities. Every person in Tokyo appeared to have descended upon this particular park, and battling the crowds, we made our way around the lake,
... over the bridge,
... past a stone near the path leading to the shrine,
... and erm, a birdhouse? I think. It could be something culturally significant, but I'm pretty sure it was a birdhouse.
We then pushed and shoved our way up the hill, whilst admiring the canopy of blossoms above,
... then stopped off for some food,
... and took time out to befriend some salarymen.
We didn't have a blue tarp, nor a reserved picnic space, but we found a table and settled in with our delicious treats and sake. Night fell and the park and blossoms were beautifully lit by the lanterns' gentle glow.
The evening drew to an end so we packed up and had a last, lingering look at the short-lived beauty of the cherry blossoms. Ah, the fragility of life. Or something.
On leaving the park, we contemplated some er, bananas for a while, but then backed away slowly, and made our way home.