sakura 2009

ohanami is flower viewing in japanese. usually it means cherry blossom viewing, but you can use the word for any special trip you're making to look at flowers. flowers are pretty, and i like going out and looking at them, but i don't think there's a specific word in english for the act of going out and looking at flowers.

of course, it usually means more than seeking out flowers and looking at them. it's a perfect excuse to get together with family or friends (or both), drink lots of juice or alcohol and have a picnic. ume (japanese apricot) usually bloom in february here in fukuoka, and it's still way too cold to go out and have a picnic (though some hardy people give it a go. and hey, after a few cups of shochu or sake, what difference does it make?) but sakura usually bloom in april, when it's quite nice during the day, and is a perfect time to go out and have a little fun after a cold winter. (there is more to cherry blossoms and how the japanese feel about them, but i just don't have the energy to try to capture that in writing....)

drinkin' juice

the past week has been pretty ding dang cold, though, and even today was too freakin' cold for ohanami. it was warm last weekend though, and the sakura are nearly at perfect bloom. so, we bought some bento, some bananas and some juice, and we ventured out in our first hanami in a couple of years. the kids didn't really understand why we were eating outside, or why we had to do it under trees, but they had fun anyway. especially when grape juice was involved. lucky them.

tommy's drink

sorry about hiro's dirty face in the next photo. he's still kind of a messy eater. and, daddy didn't wipe his face after this morning's mochi with kinako, so...well, i still rather like the way this photo turned out, messy face and all.