Sunday, 24 April 2011

Hanami, Hanayu

It's springtime, apparently. And it's crazy times in the UK, and Scotland in particular - the weather has been consistently nice for weeks.

In Japan, it's just gone Hanami season. In April, when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, friends and businesses host hanami - flower 'watching' parties. In reality, it's more about the drink and food than the flowers - everyone sits merrily on tarpaulins and rugs under the trees, enjoying each other's company and getting tipsy. The blossoms are largely forgotten.

This is the first time I've really noticed the blossoms here, however. Maybe it's just me coming back from a country where the things are revered and I'm more aware of them. We don't need flowers as an excuse to sit outside on nice days. We get so few of them that whenever it's warm and bright, Princes Street gardens fills with people making the most of the good weather. In Japan, if it wasn't a thing, if it wasn't organised, I don't think anyone would bother.

I don't know if I'm struck with an unusually sentimental streak, but I think some of our blossoms are most spectacular than the ones I was used to seeing in Japan. In Japan I remember more leafy foliage surrounded by pink, but here it looks like the whole tree is pink. Could be memory playing tricks.

1 comment:

Fern said...

So it's really the same species as the famous ones in Japan?
I noticed the blossoms in the first year I was there, and it impressed my other family members too.
The ones in Aberdeen were always beautiful, particularly ones in a cemetery, but this spring the ones in Edinburgh blew me away. You win this time, capital city!