It’s not even April yet, and surprise surprise, sakura(桜 cherry blossoms) are in full bloom in Tokyo. The sakura season is so beautiful but depending on the weather (rain, wind, and temperature) it can all end in less than a week. Yesterday, was Saturday, which meant everyone was out doing hanami (花見).
Hanami literally means looking at flowers, but recently it’s specifically for sakura viewing. 1. It is said to date back to the Nara Period (710-794), when only aristocrats or high society people took part in hanami. 2. Now it’s a custom where friends, family, and coworkers, gets together to have a picnic under the sakura trees (Yoyogi Park, 2010). Everyone does this, so it essential to save your spot early (場所取り basho tori), so usually in companies, clubs, or any association, the youngest or lowest ranking members will wake up early to save a spot.
Hanami can be done all over the city, from public parks, schools, along riversides, and even cemeteries. This year, I decided I didn’t want to sit under the trees and eat and freeze to death–hahah. So RiRi and I opted take a stroll under the sakura trees in Naka-Meguro (中目黒) along the Meguro River (目黒川) then grab lunch after.
It was sooooo crowded–which I was expecting. But even walking up and down the riverside was a little overwhelming. So many people snapping up pics of these beautiful flowers.
The riverside was lined with lanterns from shops and restaurants in the area. From a distance, the trees along the river look like they are covered in snow, except its really with faint pale pink sakura flowers–BEAUTIFUL!
So after RiRi and I snapped up some pics and enjoyed the beautiful scenery, it was time to eat lunch. The only problem was everywhere was sooooo crowded. The original restaurant we wanted to go to stopped serving lunch even though there was a long line of people. So we walked around and around in search of something to eat.
1. We were so hungry we just settled on this spaghetti place called Sekitani Spaghetti (関谷スパゲティ). 2. The menus is so simple with only 8 types of Japanese pastas. The price is so cheap too–680 yen for a large portion. You can add more noodles for 100 yen and double the size for 200 yen more.
RiRi and I were thinking, the pasta was probably going to be plain and cheap for that price, but we were pleasantly surprised. RiRi ordered Napolitan, which is a ketchup based pasta filled with lots of veggies and sausages.
I ordered the tarako cream pasta. Tarako are tiny fish eggs, it also had sweet onions and shrimp, topped with shiso herbs and seaweed. The noodles were perfect-not too hard but not too soft.
RiRi and I were so happy with our really cheap brunch. The portions were larger then usual, so we were full. We grabbed coffees at Starbucks as it was beginning to get colder and decided to walk around more. We took in more of the beautiful scenery and enjoyed the rest of afternoon.
Still in the hanami spirit, later that night Boo-chan and I decided that we would do yozakura (夜桜) in Yoyogi Park (代々木公園), which means night time sakura viewing. Many places light up the sakura at night time. I like yozakura better becuase it seems more romantic and beautiful when lit up. But before we did that it was time to eat dinner.
Boo-chan was in the mood for American so we headed to our go to spot in Shibuya, Outback Steakhouse (アウトバックステーキハウス).
We stared with an appetizer, the Alice Springs Chicken Quesadilla (アリス スプリングス チッキン ケサディア). These are so good.
I wasn’t really in the mood for steak, so I ordered the Chicken Cobb Salad (コッブサラダ) which is a seasonal dish. It was delish and satisfying but I wish there was more chicken on the salad.
Boo-chan had the Steak Tips with Garlic and Peppers (ガーリック ステーキ) with broccoli and french fries.
Our friend Ree-O came at the end, just as we were ordering our dessert-Chocolate Thunder from Down Under (チョコレット サンダー フロム ダウン アンダー). Warm brownies, vanilla ice cream, whip cream and chocolate sauce–Yes Please
After dinner, we also met up with KK and the four of us walked to Yoyogi Park for yozakura. 1. Boo-chan and I under so sakura trees that were lit up! 2. In the midst of all the beautiful sakura trees, we walked by a couple who thought they were secretly “having fun” under the trees. It was kinda funny and shocking all at the same time.
1. Closer shot of the sakura.2. The light looks like the sun. Can you see all the garabage from the picnics in the day–mountains. Even at night, there are still so many people enjoying the sakura.
Today was filled with gorgeous sakura! I love this season. Hopefully I can do it again before all the sakura fall off the trees and are replaced with green leaves. What type of seasonal things do you do in the spring?
ms fancy pants tokyo
- Sekitani Spaghetti (関谷スパゲティ)
- 3-1-2 Kami-Meguro, Megurao-ku, Tokyo
- 1F House Center Naka-meguro
- Mon-Sun 11:30-23:00
- Outback Steakhouse
- 34-1 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku Tokyo
- Mon-Fri 17:00-24:00
- Sat-Sun 12:00-24:00