Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Hanami stroll 1

We spent the weekend at U's parents' place and I fell in love. Not with U (done that already!), or with his father (despite the amazing award winning honey umeshu he plied us with on Saturday night), but with the neighbourhood.

U grew up in Saitama, a suburb prefecture of Tokyo, that derisively gets referred to as "da-sai-tama" (a combination of "dasai," unsophisticated/not fashionable, and the name of the prefecture). After this weekend I can no longer think of the prefecture, or at least one particular corner of it, as anything of the sort!

U's mother's family has long lived in the same spot near the Azuma River in Tokorozawa, a river that is lined with cherry blossoms (some planted when U was little, others plannted when his mother was little, and others much older). Pink and white lanterns are strung along the entire route and in the evening some spots are lit by spot lights. Every few hundred metres a small pedestrian bridge crosses the river but with the steep sides of the river there aren't many spots for sitting and hanami-ing. U and I both decided that the last was immaterial, as strolling along (stopping regularly for photos) made for much better enjoyment of the blossoms and was healthier besides!

We started with an evening stroll - bundled up against the chilly night...

Just as we were thinking it was time to turn around and head home we saw the nearly full moon shining down on the pink blossoms...


  1. U grew up in Tokorozawa? What a coincidence: The Hero grew up (but undoubtedly several years before U) in Shin-Tokorozawa!

    Saitama men rock! :D

    Why has The Hero never told me about this river? I can probably answer that question myself: if there's no trout in it, he's not interested. Silly man. You didn't spot any leaping trout, did you?

    Those full moon photos are stunning!

  2. Sounds like our Saitama men have a few things in common - U spent half of the time looking at the sakura and half the time watching the river for fish! Apparently there used to be lots of carp and various others but all we saw on Sunday were itty bitty things. And the huge koi nobori flying - but I guess those don't count, eh?

    The full moon was amazing, and I kept trying to photograph it but it kept hiding behind branches or housetops. Until the end when it presented itself in a perfect spot - just like a diva who knows her best angles!

  3. PS - What schools did your Hero go to? He might be U's sempai! ;)

  4. U is into fishing? Stranger and stranger ...

    The Hero went to a primary school in Shin-Tokorozawa but a high school in Tokyo. I'll have to check the exact names with him and report back!

    That moon was a glorious grand finale. Perfect timing, perfect shot!