ohanami means flower viewing, usually it means looking at cherry blossoms. people gather together under the cherry trees while they are blooming, usually because the weather is warmer (but it's usually still quite cold, especially if it's cloudy or windy!) and have picnics. some people will drink, but this year i did a lot of driving, so i didn't!
our first hanami was a bit of a last minute tack-on to an onsen trip we went on. march 20th was a public holiday (spring equinox) and yoshi booked us into a hotel in the middle of fukuoka prefecture. the hotel was really lovely, and the onsen was especially nice. i didn't get to enjoy the onsen as much as i would have liked to though, because the kids were horsing around and hiro hurt himself. somehow, he locked his knee and couldn't walk. the kids were very trying that day and i just lost my temper, and forced him to go to bed. i had to stay with him in the room, so i told sasha and tommy to go with yoshi. sasha refused to go without me, so she didn't get to go to onsen. when she finally realized there would be NO bath with mommy, SHE threw a temper tantrum which resulted in HER going to bed, too. ah, so much fun, so much drama. the onsen opened early in the morning, though, so she and i got to go to onsen.
after leaving the onsen we went for a bit of a drive. there were lots of cherry trees near the hotel (which is on a riverside), so i suggested we go to a place i knew of in asakura-city, because i used to live in that area. first we went to a sakura park, which was ok, but not the place i was thinking about. we got some tourist information there, and i found what i was thinking about: akitsuki. very nice.
our next hanami was with kuri and her kids, at kokura castle in kitakyushu city. it was a cloudy and somewhat cold day, but it was nice to meet up with our friends, and the blossoms were gorgeous!
our next hanami was with kuri again, this time at uminonakamichi. of course, the kids and i went to the aquarium first.
at the park, we rented bikes and went around that way. there were some gorgeous trees along part of the way.
our last hanami was with one of my japanese classes. the blossoms were nearly finished, but it was a nice day for a picnic!