The blossoms have arrived

Spring has officially arrived in Tokyo and the cherry trees have begun to bloom.  Without a doubt, the best time to be in Japan is now.  Set against a blue sky, a cherry tree in full bloom is so pretty is almost doesn’t look real.

Cherry blossoms (Sakura 桜) just outside my building

Cherry blossoms (Sakura 桜) just outside my building

But what do cherry blossoms and saké have in common you may be asking yourself?  The answer my friends is hanami (花見).  Hanami, consisting of the Chinese characters for “flower” and “to see”, means just that:  going to look at the cherry blossoms in a place where many trees are grouped together.  And then throwing down a blanket (or blue tarp, very popular here), meeting friends, eating food, and of course, drinking!  What better place to enjoy a cupful of saké than under a cherry with thousands of light pink flowers above, on a nice spring day in your local park- like I plan to do this weekend.

That is another great thing about Japan, you can drink saké or any alcohol in the park without a worry that a cop will come by, pour out your expensive daiginjo saké, take the bottle for himself, and give you a fine like they do in Canada or the USA.

enjoy your weekend, I know I will!

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