Spring is finally here..and the down jacket has been left at home (actually in the car just in case) and the hot water bottle retired for the year.
I love spring in Japan, the weather, the colours, the flowers, the atmosphere...but there's something about "hanami" that irritates me. I feel the beauty if the Sakura is marred by the sea of blue tarps that appear for the brief time the blossoms are out. I don't want to sound like the hanami grinch - I just think it's all so prescribed and fake.
I did "hanami" this year, but I chose to enjoy the Sakura in my own way & not with a thousand other drunk people.
I ran down Sakura lined roads along the river and watched an obaasan & her grandkids picnicking under the blossoms.
I climbed a mountain on a remote island enjoying the early blooms and taking a small branch home with me as a souvenir.
I enjoyed Sakura on a mountain overlooking the sea in a small fishing town on the coast - no blue trap but lots of colorful rugs and picnic blankets.
And I enjoyed a evening hanami date with Miss Lovely F in the city at a Japanese garden - no blue tarp just a few people with cameras. This was probably the most beautiful place I have been to see sakura & I was surprised but delighted that there weren't so many people there.
Maybe it's the blue tarps that irritate me?!
Spring is beautiful & once I look past the sea of blue tarps & the prescribed nature of it all I can appreciate it. It's about finding your own way to be grateful & appreciate.
The Hanami Grinch!