Day 23 - Matsuyama
15.04.2012 - 15.04.2012 23 °C
Hanami literally means “flower viewing,” which is a time of the year where families, friends, or co-workers sit together under the sakura (cherry blossom) trees and celebrate. And by celebrate, I mean lots and LOTS of delicious food, fun games with the kids, and a stunning view of the cherry blossoms all around you. Then you get into a food coma and you simply relax and watch the flowers. It’s a relaxing and fun way to spend time with the family.
BUT – there is so much prep work that has to be done before hanami. Making the food and arranging it in the bento box took a long time. We had tamagoyaki with spinach (rolled eggs), mini patties, onigiri (rice balls), saba, beef and potatoes, mini sausages, vegetables, strawberries and watermelon, and many different assorted snacks.
We were going to be doing the hanami up in the mountains since many of the sakura trees in the city areas are wilting. As we were driving, we passed this large, black truck. It had a large kanji written on the side of the truck. The truck also played very noisy traditional Japanese music as it drove through the city. Oneesan said the truck belonged to the yakuza and there’s nothing anybody can do about it. Mafia is still prevalent in Japan.
(Not my photo)
It’s interesting to see two faces of Japan. The quiet, peaceful side that people commonly associate Japan with. And the mysterious, dangerous side that only locals would know about.
We arrived at the mountain (which was also the mountain we biked through during our henro trip). The cherry blossom petals were just falling like snow! Nothing can describe its beauty until you see it with your own eyes. I ate, had a food coma, played hide & seek with the kids, ate more, food coma, relaxed under the pink sky.
- Hanami is widely celebrated in Japan.
- Japan has many celebrations. Sometimes Some holidays seem like they've just created to take the day off and relax! I think UW should have more of that.
- There is so much more of Japan (the different sides) I have yet to see.
- I finally ate natto (fermented soybeans)! It didn't smell as bad as I thought it would be. It smelled like a minor case of athletes foot instead of a major one. When you stir it, it gets all sticky like mucus. I mixed it with rice, onions, and soysauce. Look at this sticky goodness of mush.