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The suddenest, shortest sakura season

I need to get my act together and write, but it would really help if I could have either three parallel lives or 27 hours a day or damnit Ru stop finding excuses and start writing.

So. It's Easter in Tokyo – not that the city is aware of the fact, or cares in the least, and why should it? – and I'm enjoying a rainy Sunday at home while listening to Hildegard von Bingen. Surely that's what angel choirs sound like?

My original plan to go the Kawasaki's infamous fertility festival today was cancelled due to rain, and I can't say I'm devastated because I couldn't go dickpeditioning. It gives me a chance to relax – probably my last such opportunity for the next four months, since university classes start next week – and write a bit about this year's cherry blossom season.


It was the suddenest, shortest one I've experienced in my ten years in Tokyo. It started early due to fairly warm weather, burst into full bloom and barely a week later was blown to bits by frisky wind and persistent rain.

I could fit in only two blossompeditions: one to Jiyūgaoka and the Tama River; another one to Tokyo Midtown, where the trees are lit up at night.

Jiyūgaoka 

Jiyūgaoka is constantly rated as one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in Tokyo, and it's generally accepted that you need a fairly bloated bank balance in order to afford it. It has two famous streets: Marie Claire Street, aimed at Ladies Who Lunch & Only Wear Designer Outfits Even To Their Daily Yoga Classes & When They Pick Up Their Toddlers From Yochien, and Green Street. The latter is a narrow green belt that runs from Midorigaoka Station to Jiyūgaoka Station, and the "green" is provided by cherry trees.


It's a very easy, very beautiful walk; and it's oh-so-genteel compared to the cherry blossom spots where the smelly masses gather. Strollers for babies vie with strollers for lapdogs, and the men who are about during the day – i.e. for some strange reason they're not slaving away at a big corporation – all sport hats and facial hair. It's that kind of place.

It makes me giggle, but ignore me: I'm an unsophisticated, ill-mannered, ignorant barbarian who doesn't appreciate the finer things in life, like precious little pastel-coloured frocks that would obliterate six months' salary.





I got a bit claustrophobic after a while, fled to nearby Todoroki, galloped through the valley (I still think it's a ravine rather than a valley) to the Tama River and then strolled down to Tamagawa Station.


That stretch of the Tama River is really not pretty, but it provides wide open spaces and several massive cherry trees. Happiness, especially since my walking companion was another Afrikaans-speaking South African (Yes! There are two of us in Tokyo!) who kept me in stitches with his running Afrikaans commentary.



Tokyo Midtown

I go to Tokyo Midtown once a year, when I have my annual health check at the Midtown Clinic. The rest of the time …

Look. I don't do shopping, I don't do fashion, I don't do nightclubs. (Please re-read above-mentioned description of unsophisticated barbarians.)

Last week, however, I accompanied fellow Google Plusser Larsen Wulff, who's visiting from Germany, to take photos of the nighttime trees. It's a truly beautiful sight, and not nearly as crowded as I feared it would be. Highly recommended.



All in all this season was …

Hmm. It almost feels as if it didn't happen, because it was over so quickly. Now we prepare for summer peonies, wisteria and azaleas.

I'm going to stop writing now, because I want to do another post about Chiba's nanohana (rapeseed flowers) and local trains. I also need to respond to comments that were left, umm, last Easter? Sorry sorry sorry. Busy. Distracted. Africa time. Sorry. Kbye.

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