It has been a busy spring indeed…the biggest thing on my list being Spring Love, a big peace and music event that I helped organize through my involvement with Peace Not War Japan. The event ended up being wildly successful beyond our greatest expectations…and a hell of a lot of fun given the amazing music, perfect weather, and all around good vibes. Our report on the event is here.
Another fabulous thing about spring in Japan is the famous blooming of the cherry blossoms (sakura). During the first few days or so of April, the cherry trees all look like they are covered with yummy lumps of fresh pink cotton candy for about a week before they all ephemerally blow away (usually in a gorgeus windy flurry) as the new baby green leaves push their way through. Taking advantage of this show of natural beauty, everyone in Japan heads outside for “ohanami”, which literally translates into “flower viewing”, but is really just a good excuse to party.
In addition to all of the drunken revelery of the week, everyone just seems to be extra laid back and happy during sakura time. I also love all of the related lingo, with terms I only learned recently such as 五部桜 (gobuzakura, or 50% sakura, meaning that the blossoms are half-opened…there are also similar terms, I am told, for when they are 20%, 30%, 80% and 90% full… gotta love the precision there! 😉 ) and other flowerspeak such as 花冷え (hanabie, or “flower chill”, indicating a cold day while the sakura blossoms are out…love it!!), 桜の吹雪 (sakura no fubuki, or a “rain”storm of fluttering sakura petals)…it just goes on.
Here are some photos of this magical time…actually they’re from last year, but who would know! They were just as gorgeous this year too. 🙂