O Hana Mi, O Hana Mi … How Lovely Are Your Customs

Yet another of Japan’s most excellent traditions is that of O Hana Mi (literally, “flower look”) – around the beginning of April, friends and family gather to gaze at the beautiful clusters of cherry blossoms cropping up all over the country. Sometimes parties are organized – my school held a sushi rolling-and-corsage making do a couple of weeks ago – but more commonly, people stroll below the snowy and pink boughs while sipping from cans of bubbly beer.

My own O Hana Mi was late in coming since I missed a few school parties due to freelance work and prior plans. I did make it out one afternoon but my fun was spoiled due to rain and – as cherry blossom season only lasts for the scant one or two weeks the cherry blossoms are in bloom – I wondered if I would ever get my moment under the blossoms. Then, to my delight, last week yielded a half day at school so with several other teachers, I finally got my O Hana Mi on during our daytime jaunt to Mt. Sakiio. Beers were bought at the 99 Yen shop, trails were hiked (in our suits and my corporate heels, no less), street pachinko was played and all was well in the land of the sakura.

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Further pics are up in Picture Pages….

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