Two weekends ago, Juan and I were invited to a Hanami by our new neighbors. And since we didn't have anything else going on during this beautiful Sunday, we decided to take Mel and Lucas up on their offer and got out our hanami stuff out of the boxes. At this point, Juan and I had still not unpacked anything, so if you are wondering why our hair is so bad, it's just because we hadn't unpacked the bathroom boxes yet.
Mel and Lucas are from Australia and moved into the apartment complex just a week before we did. They are very friendly, and I can tell that there are many fun nights of playing cards and shootin' the breeze to come.
They took us to Shinjuku Goen (park), which is about 2 stops south of Shinjuku and in the heart of Tokyo. We were a little worried as we approached the park. First off there were hundreds of people tying to get in. I am not joking, HUNDREDS!!! The second problem was that there were signs posted everywhere that alcohol was not permitted in the park. Hello!??!?!? You can not have a hanami without liquor... it's just un-Japanese. Luckily, after a couple minutes we noticed that everyone had beer, sake, wine and bags of chu-hi's with them. So after we got our tickets and were inside the park... we were certain that drinking was OK by the mass amounts of drunk Japanese people wandering around looking up at the trees.
It couldn't have been a more perfect day. The trees were in full blossom and every time a breeze came through everyone started to ooh and ahhh as the petals from the blossoms fell upon us. It was so beautiful. It was as if it was snowing. After sitting under the trees for several hours, I could start to understand why there are so many poems and songs written about them. It was as if were were transported to a romantic scene out of a book. The Japanese may have different ideas about the perception of emotions, but they defiantly got this one right. Spring is the time of young love, the time for rebirth, the time for spending time with those you love. Ahhhh... I don't know what I am talking about, maybe I just drank to many chu-hi's.
After relaxing under the trees for a while, we all decided to walk around the park. And as we fought through the crowds of thousands of people, we were in awe of the wonderment of the cherry blossoms. I can't believe I have never been to this park before. It's HUGE!!!! There were several ponds, a couple of bridges and hundreds of cherry trees. If anyone is lookin' for a great park to see the blossoms then Shinjuku Goen is most defiantly it.
The park closed at 4:30 and because there were so many people trying to get out and into a train, they closed down the entire street so people could get to Shinjuku station. I have to say, that even though it was crowded, this was the most beautiful blossom viewing I have been to yet.