A Word of Advice for Hanami seeking men...
If you want to partake in some sake sipping while basking in the odour and beauty of overhanging cherry blossoms, be sure to do so with a couple of guys along. Last night I went to Haranomachi (about a 90 minute train ride south) to go check out the blossoms with 4 female friends (I know, only 4, I must be slipping.) Well after getting our goodies for a picnic under the stars (okay, clouds last night), we went to the main Cherry Orchard. I'd have been better off reading Ibsen.
Upon arrival, the chorus of "samui, samui!" began (English translation...it's really cold.) Well, I concur it was a bit cool, but I came all the way out there to admire the season and after a quick walk around, it was deemed too freezing by the majority (of frigid females) and we got back in the cars and ate our picnic inside a nice cosy house.
All this was tolerable, but I'm sure if there had been one extra y-chromosome, the party would have transpired as planned. Here's where the evening gets bizarre. The hostess is a BIG fan of Kat-tun, one of the innumerable J-pop boy-bands over here. So on goes the video. It was a Shonen special featuring several boy-bands, but I'll be damned if I could distinguish one from the other. There were "Kinki Kids", "Johnny's Juniors", "Kat-tun" of course, and my favouritely-entitled band, the "YaYaYahs". It was a pederast's paradise. All these scantilly clad young men and boys girating around, parading their hairless chests and singing in high squeaky voices.
Eventually my sarcastic protests prevailed and off went the tv and we conversed like normal humans, not like love-sick puppies drooling over a dish. So I got the last train home and the only real cherry tree I got to see well was a display for a phone company in the center of Sendai station. Ironically, once I got further north, it had actually warmed up, the clouds had dissipated and the moon and stars started to peep out. I walked home (about 50 min.) and it was warm enough that I didn't need to wear gloves.
This week, the blossoms should be blooming in Sendai. Do you think I'll attend a Sakura party with a few guys along? You bet I will!