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Hanami rush hour

34 Comments

People are divided into groups to go through the gates of Shinjuku Gyoen for cherry blossom viewing on the weekend.

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34 Comments
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It's too cold to enjoy the cherry blossoms.

Something about the security guy makes me giggle. Could be the white gloves.

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Saturday wasn't bad. I didn't go yesterday though, that was too cold.

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It is cold in the cherry blossom season every year. "Oden nabe" is one of the best stuff for "Hanami" if you are allowed to use portable gas stove.

Unfortunately we missed "Hanami" party on Friday as a weather forecast predicted it rained and we postponed. It was the best days on April 2nd and 3rd in Kanto area.

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How come yesterday couldn' have been as warm as that one freak day back in February when you could go outside wearing a T-shirt?

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Everyone from Kanto then I suppose? It was very warm here in Kansai area.

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It's too cold to enjoy the cherry blossoms.

How do people 'enjoy' them? I am confused? Do you come from a country with no trees so you therefore find looking at a tree enjoyable?

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neverknow2 - If it's nice and warm, you can be outside in a T-shirt and drink beers and play ring toss whilst looking at the pretty cherry blossoms.

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Hanami is part of the japanese culture, I,ve been living here foe 7 yrs and still don,t find it a thrill to eat under them... I prefer having lunch on the beach or by the river, much more fun for the kids too, because everywhere you it,s all packed.....

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Worst viewing season in the nearly 10 years I've been here in Tokyo. Some trees started to bloom, then they stopped, while others didn't even start blooming. By the time the late-blooming trees started, the early ones were already losing their blossoms. Not to mention the cold, rainy and windy weather made viewing less than ideal. At best a 5 on a scale of 10 year.

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I went saturday and now I have a cold.

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attractive crowd indeed. The cop needs a Mickey Mouse hat.

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I always thought hanami was weirdly and awkwardly translated as "cherry blossom viewing", when it feels far more naturally described as "looking at flowers" or simply "hanami" as a native Japanese concept. Like, "Let's go do hanami tomorrow afternoon." Flower-VIEWING? C'mon.

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I went to Yoyogi park on Saturday and had a blast! It was a bit cool when the clouds came in but after a few drinks I didn't really feel it!!

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dolphingirl -- we must define "a blast" quite differently. A friend of mine also went to Yoyogi over the weekend. Said it took one hour to walk from Harajuku station to the entrance to the park -- because of the crush of people. How much "viewing" can you actually do in that kind of crowd? Not including viewing all the drunks. I'll take Kudanshita, thanks.

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An hour from Harajuku station to the park?! It took me about 5 minutes. Anyway, each to his own.

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I was there. Yes, it was crowded. Yes, there were long lines for the restrooms. But one hour from the station to the entrance? That's just a flat-out lie or a gross exaggeration.

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it`s crowded with noisy drunks and garbage strewn everywhere. not exactly what i would call relaxing - thinking of all "nature friendly" commericals and pictures that romanticize it.

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Another "Only in Japan" moment -- A crowd of 10s to 100s remains politely within bounds of a single-strand nylon rope because some bozo in a non-tailored uniform with a sew-on badge, the obligatory 'White Gloves of Authority', and a walkie-talkie is shouting announcements in to an Anpan-man bullhorn.

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There are cherry trees in full bloom nearly everywhere in Tokyo, so my advice would be to find your local trees to enjoy. Stop by the local konbeni for a cold beer/cup-sake/, an oven-warm pizza-man, and have a blast minus The Crowds.

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And this "Hanami rush hour" has no cherry tree in bloom, which is kind of disappointing, but the photo itself is pretty interesting.

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Shinjuku Gyoen is the old and boring. A great Japan experience is the very fun and very crowded Yoyogi park.

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Just look at the expressions on their faces. Not a single person there seems to be excited. Just another duty.

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herefornow- I'm not sure why your friend walks that slow, but we go to Yoyogi for hanami every year and it takes 10 minutes at the most to get to the entrance, even when it's at its most crowded, like this Saturday just gone. There is a bit of a bottleneck at the corner, but it certainly doesn't take an hour to cover that 200m distance, and once you get inside the park the crowds spread out and it's just like hanami anywhere else, including Kudanshita.

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In the more popular areas, you can see a solitary company employee sitting (now freezing) on a blue or grey tarpaulin all day long, having reserved his 'spot' for his co-workers, for their evening hanami session. They'll turn up early evening in lieu of overtime, with bottles of beer, sake, shochu, packets of dried squid and 5 varieties of senbei; then proceed to eat and drink them all with hardly a glance at the pin blossom above them.

Just another aspect of 'Japanese' culture...

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I was in shinjuku gyoen late yesterday afternoon. It was relaxed, happy and festive :)

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It is sad to see that the masses are able to destroy even such a wonderful event as Hanami.

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This photo clearly represents the hell of cherry blossom viewing:

The little man with the tannoy shouting at people, the eager looking crowd who look like they'll run with a frenzy towards the blossoms.

Pure awful hell.

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Take a picture of the aftermath. Garbage strewn all over the place. Hungry crows " kawing" all over the place. It's a bum's dream come true. Soooo exciting!!! Since I've been here. I don't get it . What's the point sitting down on a cold damp plastic.

Still don't get and will never will. I understand taking pictures. But the average person ( nihonjin ) takes about 50 pictures that is no different from last year of a pink cute flower.

Unless you take pictures of you or your friends.

Hmmmmm me don't understandzzz !!!

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Sad, sad, sad situation. If people in Tokyo knew how great life was out in Kyushu, they would all move. I had a nice Hanami in Kokura Castle, and the Filipino association, 70 odd people and even with all the people there, there was still room to walk around, take pictures, and simply enjoy all of the Cherry trees which were in full blossom. And then walk to the car, 10 minute walk, drive home 10 more minutes. Basically, if I had to put up with the crap lifestyle in Tokyo, I would jump off a building. Here, we are 15 minutes from some green zone / forest, and places to stretch your legs, and still have a real city life too.

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Another "beautiful" occasion in (usually) Tokyo... Ahhh, the bustling crowds, the cordens, the many, many police (or in this case security guard) bellowing at you through their megaphones, the totally incongruous blue tarpaulins, the vomit... It sure is the way to celebrate the beauty and serenity of what is, to the Japanese, a symbol of the transience of life... A similar scene at last year's Hanabi too as I remember. This really doesn`t seem like fun, and has this year been compounded by the dismal weather.

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Pathetic.

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Yeah yeah yeah, hanami season is just another reason for all you inaka-residing people to make yourself feel better for not living in the city.

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The waiting line has become part of the tradition.. and no.. they maybe do not look like crazed fan-girls trying not to wet themselves while they wait for a glimpse of the pop-stars but it IS the flowers that they come to see. The morning is the best time for the older people if only because the parties of drunken salarimen have not yet come.. and the flowers will wait for them. The people will walk together.. many holding hands with their okami or goshujin and walk back in time to when they were young sweethearts.. and they will remember.. and their memories of love will bloom inside them just as the flowers do on the trees. There is so much more to this than just a line of people standing in a cold park.

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Oh my gosh, i think last year also in april Shinjuku Gyoen wasn't that crowed. But its a very beautiful park, in my opinion more beautiful than Yoyogi Park.

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