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Tokyo Cherry Blossom

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Tue 2013/04/02 15:16 JST
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Tis the cherry blossom (sakura) season in Japan right now and one can see a load of them not just in parks but also lining many streets.

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Many of the back streets are where a load of the sakura trees are hidden. They look lovely by day and also look great at night too. This particular street of sakura trees went on for a few hundred meters. The lanterns would light up at night giving the sakura a different look and feel which makes it worth going back for a look when its dark.

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Many sakura trees were removed from this road which was a shame - looked lovely last year.

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The cherry blossom season lasts for a few weeks. The act of going to see cherry blossoms (sakura) is called Hanami [花見].

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You can look for hanami spots online at Mapple - this link is for Tokyo but you can go to the top page and search for spots all over Japan.

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A few snaps as we walk to the next sakura destination.

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Roadworks are usually carried out with a guard standing by with his mini light saber.

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This area was once train tracks not so long ago.

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The other bunch of sakura trees just down the road.

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Sakura look great when the skies are blue.

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Love our neighborhood - has a load of old buildings rubbing along with the new.

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Some nom noms before heading off for more hanami.

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Om rice with some fried chicken. About 800 yen.

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Then its off to Komazawa Olympic Park for more hanami.

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The park used to be a golf field which then became the Komazawa Olympic Park for the Tokyo Olympics in 1964.
Bits of the James Bond film "You Only Live Twice" was filmed in the park - probably the underground bunkers?

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Hanami is also when a load of folk sit under the trees on mats drinking alcohol and munching on snacks. We just ate when we got here - laid out our mat and had an afternoon nap under the trees instead.

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Hanami usually passes without incident despite the amount of people crowded into a small area where most of them are drinking. I usually saw fights when groups of people started to drink outside back in the UK.

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Not all hanami places allow food and drinks under the trees - especially the ones that line roads. The big parks usually do allow beverages and mats though.

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Komazawa park is huge with a jogging and bicycle track that runs the circumference of the area. Reminded me much of that beachside place in Singapore where you can rent bicycles. You can rent them here too.

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Many sporting activities going on including baseball matches and skateboarding.

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Picking up some snacks to munch on. The mini Oreo is fab.

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There is a huge stadium at the park which was running some sort of high school sporting activities at the time. Entrance is free.

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A few races were going on. Here we see the women's 200 meter dash.

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Some more running girls. Once they crossed the line, they all turned back to the audience to give a bow.

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Used to be fast on the legs when I was a wee lad. Now I can run as fast as a garden snail.

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Some young lads awaiting their turn.

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Then its time for the lads to run.

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And the next giveaway question - what is the name of the guy number 5 and where does he live?

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Some folks practicing their dance moves.

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This type of dance in Japan is called Lyrical where they need to remember a set of moves for a particular tune.

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Komazawa Olympic Park also has tennis courts and an outdoor pool too.

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Many folks stay out for hours on end while having a hanami session - many stay throughout the night.

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No fishing in the middle of the grass.

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As with anywhere in the world - the women toilets have long queues in crowded places.

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Most of our trip back home was under sakura trees which lined the back streets.
More photos of the various cherry blossom seasons listed up below.

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And its that time of the month where I distribute parts of the Moe Calendar - and here it is! Soooo cute! Illustrator is Ikkyuu-sensei.
Grab the high res version here.

All previous Moe Calendar's listed up below.

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And we have another one - this time by DMYO (Shirahane Nao) sensei!
Chibi mirai so cute ><
Grab the high res version here.

Tokyo · CEO Mirai Inc
http://www.dannychoo.com/profile

Director for Culture Japan. Creator of Mirai Suenaga. Member of the Japanese governments METI CIIC.
経済産業省クリエイティブ産業国際展開懇談会委員。
テレビ番組カルチャージャパンのディレクターと司会。
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