If like me you prefer more laid-back, unhurried grounds, why not spend an afternoon at the Yanaka Cemetery? Yanaka is a haven in the heart of Tokyo, one of the many parks - in fact it feels more like a park than a cemetery - where one can wander around without hearing the sound of a car.
As with any party, it is not the event itself, but the people that make it the great event it is. Of course, having plenty of good food and drink to hand also helps. If you’ve just recently moved to Japan, or if you are just visiting here sometime in April then there are few better ways to get to know your Japanese friends a bit better than by partaking in a Hanami party.
The special beauty of the sakura season is its short length: trees bloom for a week or so depending on the weather, then the petals fall like snow and collect at the ground, and then vanish back into the earth. But of course, this fleeting beauty is captured forever with cameras of all kinds.
The magic about Sakura is not only the beauty of the flowers but also the beauty of going out, getting closer to nature, walking around without a specific plan, spending hours sat under a tree, and the beauty of finding yourself in love. Why not? In love with your own moment and your own life.
Japan is famous for its seasonal food and drinks with spring one of the best times of the year to sample these delicious treats. In Japan, spring is seen as a time of hope and new beginnings and carries with it the promise of warmer weather, beautiful colours and “hanami” or cherry blossom viewing.
To some, viewing cherry blossoms at a cemetery is somewhat bizarre. However, to the Japanese sakura symbolizes life and short lived beauty. It is so fragile that it reaches its peak fast and disappears fast. It reminds us that every beginning has an end and that life is beautiful yet very short.