Sakura song provides winsome melancholy

I like this sad cherry blossom ballad, in a video that helpfully includes all the words in Japanese and English. Unfortunately I don’t know the name of the singer. Maybe some reader knows? As someone else pointed out on the interwebs, this ballad seems to suit the unsettled mood of Japan post-quake.


Youth fashion beneath sakura chouchin

I love the combination of this youth’s purple and blue outfit beneath the pink lanterns set up for cherry blossom season. Amidst all the drab gray concrete of Tokyo, there is natural and human color everywhere!

Sakura music video by Monkey Majik

Glorious Edo-style cherry blossom music video by Canadian/Japanese band Monkey Majik. Catchy tune and amazing music video. Will this be the song of the season?

(Disclosure: I used to hate this band because the foreigners’ Japanese is so much better than mine. Ok, I was jealous. But I *luv* this video).

Sakura already falling

Sakura in full bloom, Zenpujiki River

Wednesday I was biking to my gym yoga class and admiring the sakura in full bloom along the Kanda River between Nakano Sakaue and Higashi Nakano. After class, I noticed that the warm weather and wind was starting a “snowfall” of petals along the path and in the river. How quickly sakura ends.

The photo above is from Zenpujiki River, near the in-laws’ ceramic studio. Rivers are perfect settings for sakura. Hanami at the narrow park along this river in Suginami is more neighborly and less crazed than more celebrated parks. Below is a night image from central Nakano, where many old cherry trees line Nakano Dori. The lighting is supplied by local institution, Don Ki (the nickname for low-priced emporium Don Quijote). And you can see the moon in the upper right corner.

Sakura at night in front of Don Ki, Nakano

After a few more days, cherry blossom season will be over.

Cherry blossoms peaking

Hanami Inokashira Koen

This weekend is officially peak hanami, or cherry blossom viewing. The husband and I visited famous Inokashira Koen in Kichijoji on Friday afternoon. The trees were beautiful, particularly how the old branches extend over the pond.

Hanami Inokashira Koen

Since it was still a weekday, the park was full but not as crazy as it will be over the weekend. There were many blue sheets laid out for picnic-drinking parties, with just a few early birds saving spots for their friends. We saw many over-the-top outfits on people of all ages. And a remarkably genki-looking man told us about his 6 years war experience in Myanmar and his love for bananas and pineapples; turns out he’s 91.

Hanami Inokashira Koen Blue Sheets

Two views of cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms (さくら)are reaching peak season in Tokyo, and Japanese are crazy about viewing them (はなみ). I love how the seasonal spirit ranges from gorgeous, well-pruned specimens to cheap, plastic decorations in some of the less sightly parts of Nakano.

In front of the Imperial Palace (こうきょ):

Sakura in front of National Theater, and across from Imperial Palace

Besides the power lines near Nakano Broadway:

Nakano sakura