Early Cherry Blossom Festivals Begin
From one day to the next, cherry blossom buds erupted into vivid bunches all across Tokyo. While most cherry blossom festivals will take place the first weekend of April, some have already occurred. In Ookayama, located in the residential area southwest of Shibuya, the annual cherry blossom festival took place on the weekend of March 22-23 and featured performances, festival food, and entertainment for families.
More recently was the cherry blossom festival in Senzokuike, a short walk from Ookayama, on March 29-30. Accessible by train, Senzoku Pond is a beautiful, family-friendly area to spend a relaxing afternoon in Tokyo. With duck boats, paddle boats, children’s playgrounds, and many shrines dispersed throughout the lake area, there is something enjoyable for everyone.
On the festival weekend, festival food stalls filled the walking paths, and families spilled out across lawns and boardwalks to eat, drink, and be merry. Despite cherry blossoms having sprung up all around Tokyo just the day before, it was still too early for prime viewing at Senzokuike on the weekend of the festival. That didn’t stop everyone from enjoying, however.
Since the day they first budded, the blossoms have been on a countdown timer. Their short lifespan is both what makes cherry blossoms beautiful and what drives people from all over into a frenzy of cherry blossom viewing before they are gone. With questionable weather coming to Tokyo over the next week, it’s best to run out and enjoy now. As for the sakura festivals, they better hurry up and get going!
[Post by Nadia]