Monday, 30 May 2016

Hanami in Hitachi

After the hanami weekend in Tokyo, it was time for hanami in Hitachi on Sat April 9th as the season here is usually a bit later than in Tokyo. This year though the sakuras all over Japan were apparently ahead of the average year schedule. There are several cherry blossom forecasts (桜予想) to follow, but these forecasts usually appear quite late for tourists to have any gain of it for their trip planning. I think best guess would be being in Japan during the first days of April and actually staying a bit longer in one place to assure you are there during the full bloom. I was lucky enough to spend one month in Kyoto two years ago in April thanks to our school for reorganizing the period system and leaving me without courses during the new 5th period.

On the 9th there was a Spring festival at our work place in Hitachi. Me, Anthony, Ed, Aidan, Alan and Mathilde decided to go and see it. Also generally no photos are allowed on the company area, but today was an exception. Though I actually think the prohibition applies only to the work related stuff so I've taken photos of the trees also before when they were in the early blooming stage. This post will again contain a lot of photos so I'm only posting full bloom ones.

The day was the first really warm one in Hitachi this spring and while we were walking from the train station to the company, many of us hoped we would not chosen jeans to wear in the morning. I even got a slight sunburn...

The road to the company which the bus takes everyday.

The festival.
Anthony and Aidan enjoying their time.
Entertainment for kids. That guy was the most stereotypical anime bad guy I've seen in a while, but that itself made it fun to watch haha.
Trying out the festival sake ("nihonshu" in Japanese as "sake" means alcoholic drinks in general).

Mathilde and Ed represented Europe in the "loud-voice-competition" (which also had kids as participants). Ed won and got 10,000 yen (~80 euros) worth of gift cards for shops. You were supposed to shout some phrase: Ed shouted a basketball cheer in Lithuanian and there was a guy who was leading for a while with はらへったー! meaning "I'm hungry!". :D
After the company festival, we headed for lunch near the station and then to Hitachi-shi for some more sakura. I could only make a short stop there as I had to go for a drinking party with my yosakoi teammates in Mito. No photos from there unfortunately, but I just love how my teammates (all Japanese) love my English pronunciation haha. "Say this, say this." "Waaa, so cool!" :D

Hitachi Civic Center
Hitachi Heiwa Doori

Bonus story about sakura: Japanese people also seem to love special/limited edition stuffs, so during the sakura season you'll see season special sakura flavour drinks or some green tea bottles and beer cans getting a seasonal cover with flowers.

Cherry blossom latte

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