I was only in Singapore for a week – but the sakura had already bloomed and were beginning to fade into nothingness. The whole time I was back home, my friends in Japan were annoying me with pictures of sakura on Facebook. I personally prefer autumn to spring – but missing out on sakura season is a sacrilege. Whether you like it or not – you have to celebrate it.
My first year in Japan, it rained so much that we couldn’t have a hanami – a flower viewing party that’s ubiquitous in Japan. My friend and I just walked around and gazed longingly at the petals on the floor.
In my second year, I had a hanami at a cemetery in Kawasaki. Yes – you read right. Don’t ask me how or why. A friend invited me. We bought some bentos and drinks at a supermarket and then sat under a tree. It was lovely.
ANYWAYS – this year I finally made it to Meguro River for sakura season. Meguro River – which is more of a canal than a river – is my favourite place to celebrate spring. And it isn’t because of all the lovely flowers that grace the river. It’s because of all the street food and booze.
Hey – I know what’s important.
We started with kaarage; then moved onto kebab. The kebab was surprisingly good. The guy said he made it spicy for me because I asked. Well, then…
Admittedly, it was a bit hard to actually eat anything because there are no seats and you pretty much have to stand, eat your food, hold your drink as well as somehow use your chopsticks in the midst of all that madness. I don’t know how the Japanese do it. And the whole time people are bumping into you like they can’t see you. I’m all for multitasking, but when it comes to food; I like my plate to have my undivided attention.
To finish, we had sakuramochi and also indulged in some strawberry wine type thing.
Man, that is just way too much pink for one season.
“So tell me,” I asked him, “is sakura season romantic or cheesy?”
“A bit cheesy.”
I grinned from ear to ear.