Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Spring in Japan

Well finally things are beginning to bloom here in Japan. The cherry blossoms began to pop open last week so Kris and I went into Tokyo for some hanami fun! Hanami means flower watching, and its the very popular act of hanging out in parks under cherry blossoms and having big picnics.

I like the bright pink blossoms best.

We went to Yoyogi park, which is very close to the Shibuya/Harajuku area of Tokyo. There was a large area of the park with lots of cherry trees spread out and just about every inch of ground was covered with tarps that people were hanging out on. Some people were groups of friends enjoying some food and drinks or even games together, others were work groups all dressed in suits with platters of sushi and cases of beer. Some people brought balls to through, some people were taking lots of pictures, most people were people watching like us. Since we were in the middle of Tokyo there were lots of foreigners and tourists around. And of course there were a couple drunks that had a bit too much and ended up puking in the large trash bins. Classy for 3pm on a weekday. In Japan theres no laws against drinking in public, so during festivals or events like this its very acceptable and common to see people walking around with cans of beer or even bottles of whiskey. Its still socially unacceptable to drink too much and make a fool of yourself though. Video below:

A video posted by Kendrra Thoms (@kendrrat) on

We missed the memo about the tarps.
People watching goodness.

It was a bit cold and overcast, but still fairly nice weather. We didn't have the forethought to bring a tarp so we had to sit under a tree in the dirt. Still not unpleasant. Next time I want to go for a proper hanami with a tarp and food and everything. Lets hope the recent rain doesnt wash away all the sakura before we can try again!

My drink- cherry for cherry blossoms.

Kris' drink- one cup for... one Kris.

Before we went to the park we met up for some lunch at a burger place our friends chose: Blacows (click here).  The burgers there start at ¥1300 and go up based on what toppings you pick, but honestly I thought it was worth it. The burger is made with wagyu beef which is apparently delicious as hell. A plain burger comes with the patty, bun, a yakinuku sauce on top and some kind of white sauce on the bottom- maybe a garlic onion thing? I dont know. I just added avocado (¥200) to mine and it was perfect. Kris got one with bacon but, sadly, bacon in Japan is a floppy sad substitution for real bacon. The size of the burger is not quite as monstrous as some premium American burgers can be, but we found it just big enough that we didnt feel too stuffed after. They come with literally a child's handful of fries, but again it was just enough.

After lunch we took a short train ride to the park, grabbed some cheap cans of alcohol, and found our dirt spot under a tree. We spent a couple of hours there until it started to get dark and we got hungry again. For dinner we all headed to an all-you-can-eat yakiniku place that was only ¥1500 per person, as long as you got the chicken (not beef) option. We all did that and crammed into a small booth in a restaurant full of loud, probably also drunk, people. They gave us a menu and a little electronic device that looked like a big calculator to order on- just type in the menu number and press send, no talking needed. We got some takoyaki (fried octopus balls, looks like pancake balls) and a bunch of different flavors of chicken: teriyaki, curry and maybe one more... Anyways, everything was delicious and we all had a bunch of good food.

Five people around this little table. Typical Japan.
Eventually it was time to go home so we all got on a train headed back to Shinjuku station where we split up and went our separate ways. I basically slept the whole way home. Once we got home Kris and I watched The Good Dinosaur in bed and then went to sleep early. It really was an awesome day so we're really looking forward to another fun day next Sunday. Everyone in our group agreed that hanami is an awesome tradition and we wished it could be a thing in the US- but we also agreed that Americans would most likely ruin it since they (as a general group) lack self control of any kind. Maybe Kris and I will bring it back just for our friends- who would like to go have a great picnic with us in San Francisco or something the spring after we get back?? Let me know!

Our spot under our tree.



  1. That sounds awesome!! How are your headaches doing?

    1. Well thankfully right now I'm not in a cluster period so I haven't had any headaches in a couple months.

  2. that looks like it was gorgeous

  3. that looks like it was gorgeous


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