Spring has sprung, as the saying goes, and this year marks my second go-around at one of the more popular times around Japan! Unfortunately for all those involved in planning special events and meals, the main attraction of the fleeting Sakura bloom ended up delayed by about a week in the Kanto region. Persistent cold and cloudy, wet days kept much flora dormant up until only a couple weeks ago. Foolishly hoping that the weather would break and the initial blooming forecasts were correct, I headed out to Yokohama with a couple friends to walk along the Ooka River during their 2-day Cherry Blossom Festival.
If the post title and header image didn’t give it away, the festival—as well as my visit—did not coincide with that many blossoms at all except for a few weeping cherry trees scattered around. That small fact did little to hurt visitors’ enthusiasm though! As we walked along a moderate section of the 14 kilometer river, good food and good times were everywhere.
I even found myself a new favorite festival snack called okonomiyaki, which is basically a pancake filled with various ingredients. The stand I picked sported egg, bacon, corn, lettuce, chives, carrots, and more. Cooked golden brown and drizzled with a signature savory sauce? Couldn’t ask for more to tide one over to dinner!
With only a few trees here and there sporting blossoms (none of which in full bloom), we decided to head off the river’s path to a local public park, giving me a bit of a chance for some more street photography before riding back to Yokosuka.
Every now and then, a flowering weeping cherry blossom tree or magnolia would catch my eye in passing…
Despite some good daylight remaining, we figured it was as good a time as ever to head back to Yokosuka—the only cherry blossoms in bloom at this time were in Ueno Park in Tokyo (and, in a later post, you’ll learn why heading there during peak Sakura season isn’t the smartest idea…). And what better way to end a little day of cherry blossom recon than with some sushi?
That’s all for this quick beginning to a 3-part Sakura series I hope to get on the site in the next few days. Thanks for dropping by! Despite a noted lack of cherry blossoms, this chilly day helped me develop a game plan for a return trip just days later. As always, have a great day!