Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sakura Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing) in Sapporo

Coming down off of a Golden Week traveling-vacation-high with my sister (blog post to come...currently sorting through 4 gigs of photos!), I thought I could at least tie over the updates with our awesome outing yesterday in Sapporo!  This time of year is when the cherry blossoms come and (extremely quickly) go, bringing with them a throng of people heading out and about for a hanami, or drunken, BBQ-ing, singing cherry-blossom-viewing!

As we are currently sans-grill, Carissa, Jacob and I packed our own picnic lunch and headed down to Maruyama Park for the festivities.  We actually missed the absolute height of the cherry blossoms, which only lasts for a couple of days, but there were still quite a few trees with blossoms, and quite a few hanami-goers out and about to boot!

The park itself was a massive display of excess:  The scents of sweet flowers, grilled meat, and beer wafted among a thick cloud of BBQ smoke and a colorful maze of people!   Nature-viewing in Japan could absolutely be no other way:

As luck would have it, one of the parties beckoned our gaijin (foreigner)-selves over to join up with their party!  Seriously, sometimes it really pays to obviously be very different!  One of the guys in the group was on the Sapporo city council.  Figuring that it's never a bad idea to have a few friends in high places, I got his meshi (business card) and made it a point to have good beers and conversation with him!  

Jacob, as usual, wowed the crowd by singing a few Led Zeppelin tunes with the guitar guy...he's so handy to have around!  And Carissa did her best to avoid the group's efforts to hook her up with the only single guy there, a Sapporo city detective...ha!

I was a little disappointed that we missed the blossoms in their full glory, but it was such a beautiful day with such an amazing group that it was hard not to get into the full hanami spirit!  It was a grand welcome back home and a nice little transition from Golden Week vacation to work week reality!


n. snow veney said...

we do a whole project on cherry blossoms with our kids during asia month! i would love to have been there with you!

Annabeth said...