Every Spring when the Cherry blossoms appear Japanese people flood into the parks for Hanami, which means "flower watching." They spread a sheet on the ground, eat a picnic lunch, drink (usually alcohol, but tea will do), and enjoy the arrival of Spring. Some people criticize these events for the tackiness (e.g., sometimes you hear loud Karaoke music, the crowds can be so thick it's hard to walk, trash gets tossed on the ground, some people are drinking lots of alcohol, etc.). The fact is that many people aren't really looking at the flowers at all. But I think criticizing hanami misses the point. These events are a mass sigh of relief that Winter is over, the sun is out and life is for the living. I took these pictures on multiple days mostly at Shakuji Koen (Park) and Koganei Koen in Tokyo.
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