Sunday, April 8, 2007

Hanami at Hachimanyama Koen

Throughout Japan, "Hanami" is one of the most popular events of Spring. It's literal meaning is flower veiwing. Every year the weather forecast on the news include a daily Hanami forecast and you can see as the country warms and the parties and festivals slowly move north. Most parks and many roadways are lined with Ume (plum) or Sakura (cherry) trees. Hachimanyama park in paticular is home to about 700 cherry trees. Crowds of people - families, groups of friends, and groups from companies sit under the fully open cherry blossoms, usually on plastic tarps, and have a picnic. There is always a lot of foods, sake, and other beverages. Today we finally had a break in the weather and were able to get out and enjoy the park with several of the UEC Japanese Sensei's and thier families, some co-workers and other gaijin (foreigners) from around town. It was really a nice day, and tyhe park was packed. As usual by the end of the day there were some drinking casualties laying around the park, hopefully the evenings rain woke them up or their friends were kind enough to drag them home. More of the days and evenings photos are posted in the yahoo folder for your perusal, just follow the link in the left column.

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