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Yozakura cherry blossoms in evening

Yozakura cherry blossoms in evening

“Yozakura cherry blossoms in evening” is in continuation from previous issues on Cherry Blossoms in Japan. You can view via following links

Celebrating-spring-cherry-blossoms-in-japan

Ueo Park Tokyo – Hanami and the Lily pond

Tokyo-water-sports-rowing-under-cherry-blossoms

Yoru よる  – evening                         Sakura in evening = Yo Sakura

Yozakura cherry blossoms in evening
Yozakura cherry blossoms in evening

As a flower Sakura i.e. cherry blossom is light pink a delicate little one that blooms just for about two weeks. End of winter, beginning of spring. Unlike others though its a highly social kind, comes together goes together. After a light rain someday end of March, as night turns to day suddenly the entire neighborhood is flush with flowers. Not a single leaf, just bunch of white and pink bouquets hanging down from charcoal dark branches. Beautiful? Well yes. Magical, yes of course. It’s this combination of subtle beauty and magical appearance that has awed the generations over. And created this cult around cherry blossoms.

Party under lantern and cherry blossoms
Party under lantern and cherry blossoms

Life pauses during these two weeks. Droves head to nearby places under cherry blossoms for enjoying the view. And eat and drink. And drink. And eat. And it goes on till late evenings. On a moonlit night the white sponge of flowers appear like a bob of cloud hanging just above. Surreal enough to spawn tales of eternal love. When the same white bouquet is illuminated by rays of light from a lantern hanging in the patio – its magical. It’s this feeling that’s been given a name and celebrated as Yo Zakura. Evening sakura in literal translation. Transliteration would be something like enjoying the beauty of sakura against evening light. Whatever, meaning aside, it’s a party time.

Food and drinks and yozakura
Food and drinks and yozakura

Sakura viewing spots in Tokyo have traditionally arranged evening illumination for yozakura. The favorite viewing spots like Ueno Park, Sumida river Park, Meguro, Zojoji temple complex, Imperial palace compound  all light up with colorful traditional (looking) lanterns hung around. Shops spring up selling traditional food. Shopkeepers and municipality work to arrange tables and chairs in order under the illuminated trees, all numbered properly – the trees, the tables, the rows. Just so that group members reaching from around the city know precisely where to head to. Party food and drinks are all preset; just order a set and sit down.

Yozakura rolls on for 2 hours. Then gentle announcement reminds one and all its time to pack up, throw waste into clearly marked bins separating glass – plastic – tin cans, and head home. Lights switch off. Columns of merry crowd heads towards the nearby railway stations, still dazed, from the burst of celebration. And the same scene repeats the next evening for another evening till the two weeks pass.

Given the tourist rush during these two weeks, some municipalities set up multilingual booths to help tourists. Chiyoda ward publishes white-pink jacketed booklets to hand out to all who goes for Yosakura around the imperial palace gardens near Kudanshita station. In places lit by focus lamps the cherry blossom trees extend all the way onto the moat circling the palace. Boats moored into the water, resting under the cherry blossoms make for that perfect photo op. It’s all a fun experience, adding up to the celebratory mood all around. Hope you will like the photos.  For more information please follow this URL

http://www.kanko-chiyoda.jp/Portals/0/image/event/sakura2010/Chiyoda-New-Flower-Route-MAP1%E3%80%80%EF%BC%88English%EF%BC%89.pdf

Boats moored under cherry blossoms
Boats moored under cherry blossoms

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