This morning I went to Ueno Park on my first "sakura sanpo" (cherry blossom walk) for 2011. The park was very quiet – mostly homeless men, retired people, a few mothers with babies. As has become the norm in Tokyo in the last two weeks, I didn't see one single white face.
I wonder what hanami will be like this year: more subdued or more exuberant? A lot depends on Tōden. If they can bring the Fukushima nuclear reactor under control, and if people don't have to worry about radiation levels anymore – whether justifiably or unnecessarily – then perhaps we'll be able to celebrate a new beginning under the pink popcorn.
Photos of Ueno Park here.