Thursday, March 26, 2009


Well, it's currently flower viewing season in Nagasaki. Around every spring, the sakura flowers blossom over the course of a week or two, then fall. The blossoming begins in the South of Japan, and it moves progressively North. Therefore, it will be awhile before the sakura in Hokkaido begin to blossom. The dates for the start of and estimated end of the viewing season are given mainstream news coverage. People often have parties under the sakura, reserving the good spots rather early by laying out their blue tarp to mark their territory. There is a saying (花より団子) which implies "sweets over flowers" and alludes to the fact that sakura viewing parties are more about socialization (or getting royally smashed off sake and shochu) rather than enjoying the aesthetic qualities of the flowers.

Today (I'm actually relatively quick with making a post again!) I went to a mountain-top park with about 15 people for hanami (flower viewing). It was a beautiful, but relatively chilly and windy day. I took a few pictures:

As can be seen below, there were food stands setup in rows throughout the park. I can't say it wasn't excessivly overpriced. There was takoyaki, crepes, okonomiyaki on a stick (can't remember the actual name), fried meat, and some other stuff. I bought something that my eyes assured me was an icecream cone. It wasn't. It was like tasteless shaved ice in a cone. My Japanese friend said it's a Nagasaki thing. It's made from lemon juice and somehow manages to have no sugar in it.
Since we were on top of a mountain, we had a beautiful view of the city. Somewhat ironically, I wasn't able to evade the flowers in order to get a clear view of it.

I would like to go back sometime and get pictures at night time. Those pink thingies are lanterns. That combined with the backdrop of the Nagasaki nightscape would be pretty, I think.

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