Sakura, Sakura

Every spring millions of Cherry trees blossom in Japan. A wave of pink sakura slowly moves from Kyushu in the South to Hokkaido in the North. The news gives regular updates as to the progress of the blossoms and when they arrive its hanami(lit. flower watching) party time.
Family, friends, random strangers they all gather underneath the cherry blossoms to have picnics, drink lots of sake and generally have fun.

Well its reached that time of year here now, yesterday was the first day of hanami parties and already my head hurts. What follows is an account of yesterday or what I can remember of it:
It all started around lunch time, we found a nice spot in the traditional Japanese gardens here and put down our blue plastic sheet for the day. We then spent the whole afternoon drinking and eating lots of weird food(mmmm. chewy squid) under the cherry blossoms. At 5.00pm the garden had to close so we were kicked out.
Alcohol update- 3 beers, 2 cups of sake = slightly tipsy
The japanese don`t let that ruin a good party though so we found a nice place by the river to watch the sun set and drink more as we waited for a couple of US marines we were meeting to arrive.
Alcohol update-4 beers, 3 cups of sake, 1 cup of champagne, 1 cup of plum wine = suitably merry, embarassing behaviour a distinct possibility.
Then someone decided they were in the mood for singing (not me) so we were dragged off to karaoke. Now I made Adam promise beforehand that he wouldn`t let me sing alone, but because they had 2 microphones and you didn`t have to stand up I had to give it ago. Lets just say our rendition of London Calling was something special and leave it at that.
? We eventually ended up back in our room via our favourite bar at about 3am.
Alcohol update- Add 4-5 more beers = why is my head spinning.

So you get the idea what these parties are like and I have to say it was amazing fun(even the singing). If you ever come to Japan this is the time to come.

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