Cherry Blossoms Bloom So Fast

IMG_1885I’m not sure if you can tell but compared to the other photo I took here, the patchy trees are fuller. In only half a day!

I can’t believe how quickly they bloom. I am so fortunate to live right by the Cherry Blossom canals. It’s only a 15-20 minute walk from my home so I can quickly stroll by to watch the progress.

Today is Saturday. The canals should be avoided at all costs during weekends. I mean, yesterday was only a Friday. Around 3:30PM on a weekday, the cherry blossoms not yet in full bloom, the canals were already packed.

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So many people taking selfies…

Mainly Japanese people – a sprinkle of tourists here and there.

Now, onto the food stands!

 

 

During Japan’s major events, there are usually festivals (matsuri). It is a long standing Japanese tradition to have these food stands (de-mise) at festivals. On New Year’s, they set up inside temples. Cherry blossom time, they set up along the most popular hanami (‘flower viewing parties’ — basically where people set up a picnic with a bunch of friends at popular cherry blossom spots, eat and get drunk). Summer there are obon festivals, so on and so forth.

At these festivals, we get access to foods traditionally only served from stands — like baked potato with sea salt and butter jyaga-butter, corn on the cob, mega sized skewers of chicken, beef, vegetables. De-mise yakisoba (yakisoba tastes different prepared at food stands – I swear). If interested in seeing more photos, punch this into Google and look at the images: “お祭り出店”

That’s all changed since the popularity of street food and more so now, since the rise of food trucks. But ask any Japanese about ‘omatsuri no demise’ (the food stands that set up shop during festivals) and most will excitedly share their favorite foods.

These are some of the de-mise along the Nakameguro Cherry Blossom canals:

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There are tons of alcohol stands. Zima (remember Zimas?) is promoting a pink line. And a bunch of ultra long french fry stands.
Clam chowder and a sausage stand.
Clam chowder and a sausage stand.
One of the many teensy tucks serving curry rice.
One of the many teensy tucks serving curry rice.
For some reason there are a lot of sausages - all hand made, of course.
For some reason there are a lot of sausages – all hand made, of course.
Pockets of stand clusters selling everything from yakitori to 'slow coffee' -- which I think is a slow pour coffee -- to fruits and vegetable stands.
Pockets of stand clusters selling everything from yakitori to ‘slow coffee’ — which I think is a slow pour coffee — to fruits and vegetable stands.
The hot ginger stand that sells their homemade sakura honey (cherry blossom honey)
The hot ginger stand that sells their homemade sakura honey (cherry blossom honey)

There are also countless kebab and takoyaki stands. Sweets and desserts. So much food! My favorite remains the rotisserie stand though – can’t wait to go back, so delicious.

The Nakameguro canals are accessible via the Nakameguro Station on the Hibiya line.

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