Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hanami 花見 is on the horizon.....

Sunday while in a large park down in Omiya, we spotted our first Ume tree in full bloom. The news is already reporting the progress of the bloom down south on the Island of Kyushu. To those of you in the states and elsewhere, I'm sure your thinking no big deal, blooming trees we have those too. But to those living in or who have lived in Japan we know this means that O hanami will soon be here. And in Japan this means the beginning of the outdoor party season. After a fairly cold winter, we are ready. The blooming process across Japan is actually tracked and forecasted with the daily news and weather, more or less like a regional party forecast. Here's an example of a tracking website: http://www.tenki.jp/skr/yosou/index.html
While in Omiya we also did a little shopping at the cocoon mall and while there we visited the Kua-Aina for lunch. Kua-Aina is a burger joint based out of Hawaii. We must say it was a damned good burger. Next was a stop at the Hikawa Shrine (yes, I know, yet more shrine pics), which was located in the large Omiya Koen also containing the Omiya Zoo. We took some time out to people watch, snap a couple of pics, and drink a few cold ones.

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