Tour guide, 39 (Australian)
This will be my first hanami (cherry blossom viewing), actually. I hope it will be memorable. I heard that Japan can be a very different, open and drunken place during hanami. I’m looking forward to it!
NGO worker, 31 (Japanese)
There is a beautiful street of arching sakura trees near my house. People bring tables and chairs instead of blue mats. The atmosphere is more like somebody’s living room.
Architect, 29 (American)
At the University of Washington there is a courtyard filled with cherry blossom trees. I was there with my family, four generations of Japanese-Americans, and it’s my first memory of something culturally Japanese.
Designer, 30 (Japanese)
I went to Yasukuni Shrine a few years ago with a survivor of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. The beauty of the trees and the horrors of her story were an unforgettable contrast.
Translator, 57 (Japanese)
Actually, I have bad hay fever, so the hanami season is the worst time for me! While I am driving, I enjoy the beauty of the different shades of sakura from a distance.
Teacher, 31 (Welsh)
My first year in Japan the sakura bloomed at the time of the spring festival. I helped carry the mikoshi (portable shrine), took part in the festival, and really felt like part of the community.
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