hanami in japanese culture, means flower viewing particularly the ‘cherry blossoms’ during spring. people usually go to the park or gardens to have picnic under the beautiful cherry blossom trees with their families, friends or colleagues. japanese sometimes wear their traditional kimono or yukata during the hanami festival. it has always been my dream to go to japan and see the sakuras in bloom.
but dreams of travel and jetsetting are a reality miles away…
so last year, when i found out that the japanese community here in christchurch organizes a yearly hanami festival, i got so excited and vow to attend the event. no need to go to japan at all because my cherry blossom dreams will now become a reality here in christchurch! spring officially starts from september until november, but the best time to see the sakura is during the early part of september as the flowers are very vibrant and in full bloom.
compared to last year, this year’s event is better because there are food stalls available showcasing a variety of japanese delicacies such as rice cakes, sweets and gyoza. i tried one of the rice cakes which is similar to our bibingka but with a sakura topping on top. it was good, not too sweet. but the best-selling item during the hanami is the gyoza. check the long queue, everyone wants a gyoza on a good sunny day! for $6, you will get 6 pieces of gyoza, choose from pork or lamb flavor. 🙂 we bought 1 flavor each, yummers!
there’s also a tea ceremony booth at the far end area of the park. a few women garbed in kimono were doing a traditional tea ceremony while the audience enjoy a cup of hot tea and a rice cake.
around half past twelve, the drum show started and the people assembled and find their seats. the show run for 30 minutes.
all these japanese stuff brings back good memories of my japan trip few years ago. 🙂 if there’s one country i want to visit again, japan is on top of the list and most likely I will spend the days just eating ramen, sushi and more rice cakes. *nom*