お花見, or Cherry blossom viewing season

March and April here were cherry blossom viewing season, or as it’s known in Japan, お花見. It’s an excuse for people around the country to relax, go to a nearby park, drink and be merry with friends and family. You don’t really need a reason to do that, but it’s a good reason if you’re always busy. You’re pretty much expected to go to at least one of these parties each year.

The sakura, or cherry blossoms, bloom at different times throughout the country depending on the weather and location. This year they bloomed earlier than had been originally predicted, thanks to some warmer than average weather.

I went to three parties this year:

  • The first was with some classmates. It was a small gathering that also served as someone’s going away party. We ate at a restaurant prior to going, so we ate some snacks and a few people had beer. It was held at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo.
  • The next party was with my host dad’s friend’s company. We were invited to tag along. Food included sushi, wraps, pizza and beer. This was at a park in Yokohama.
  • The third party was party was also held at Yoyogi Park. This one was a gathering of people in Japan who create YouTube videos. This one ended earlier due to rain, so it was moved to the Tobacco and Salt Museum… while we waited for a nearby pub to open up.

It’s always a fun experience, and I recommend everyone try to take part in one of these parties.

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