April has begun! Which means school is starting and spring break is coming to an end…but on the bright side the cherry blossoms are now in full bloom all over Tokyo. There is sakura filling up the country and I’ve been on a hanami high going for picnics under the trees.
When it’s your first time in your life seeing the full bloom in Japan you get too excited and go out of your way to be as festive as possible. My diet for the past week has been entirely pink because of all the cherry blossom-flavoured food I’ve been getting
A lot of people go for hanami (literally ‘flower viewing’) and that’s when the parks and rivers are packed because they’re prime spots for picnics with their mass of sakura trees. I’ve been going to some place or another every single day of the week and might have already done hanami seven times(A public apology to all my friends on social media who have to endure my incessant posts of sakura pictures)
But it really is beautiful! I’ve never seen so much pink and white on trees and it makes me feel amazed that I’m finally seeing something straight out of my desktop wallpapersThe flowers are actually the colour of cotton candy and it’s pretty fascinating.
Sakura season’s got me craving all the hanami food like mochi and bentoSome of the cherry blossom places have festivals with food stalls selling snacks and picnic food, so it’s easy to pick up something to eat. Like this sakura mochiI’d never eaten one before so I asked my Japanese friend if I could eat the leaf too (she didn’t know and kindly Googled it for me), and it seems like it’s left to your discretion. So I ate it and it just tasted salty. But the mochi was sweet so I liked it! (Of course)
This looks familiar haha. Throwback to 2015 when I arrived in Tokyo a little late for the flowers and went on a desperate hunt around the city for trees that weren’t already naked of their sakuraSanshoku dango is one of my favourites; they come in three colours that represent the pink sakura in spring, snow in winter and green grass in summer (literally just found that out while typing and Googling). Sometimes they come with anko inside too!
I got this matcha roll cake with strawberry cream in the middle from Family Mart! So simple but quintessentially Japan in springtime. Just look at all that beautiful green and pink.
One of the food stalls at Ueno Park was selling these panda-shaped buns (because, you know, it’s Ueno). I’ll buy anything as long as it’s food and has the face of an animal.
Everyone in Japan seems to be enjoying this very pink season and it makes me happy just to see people stop in the streets to look at the sakura or kindergarten kids playing under the trees.
Even old couples go on walks and watch the scenery together.
The flowers are just as pretty close up too; I’ve been picking up some of the flowers that fall on the ground just to send to my friends back home. I’m looking forward to when they’ve all fallen and I can just roll around in them
The night sakura is amazing too, when everything is illuminated and the trees just start to glow in the dark with lanterns all around. This was at the Meguro River, which is one of the most popular hanami spots in Tokyo and very densely populated all the time.
The cherry blossoms were the best way to end the spring break and start the new year aheadNow I’d say it’s the nicest time of year to come to Japan, because it just shows the best of Japan.
Now allow me to share something quick if I may
My friend Manatsu and I made a video! It’s basically us eating lots of different sakura sweets, and we even have a new YouTube channel so from now on we’ll be posting videos about our life in Japan. New season, new startCheck it out if you’re curious about what cherry blossom tastes like!