Friday, August 13, 2010

Won't Miss #217 - cherry blossom viewing (the bad)

Many foreigners who have never been to Japan or who have only been here as tourists love to wax poetic about how zen and peaceful the cherry blossom viewing season is. They talk about the appreciation of nature and how it's a time to get together with family or friends and meditate. These are people who don't know what the vast majority of people engage in cherry blossom viewing for. It's really all about a bunch of people getting together, sitting on plastic tarps, eating snacks, and getting hammered. I'm sure there are small numbers of people who are looking at it from a meditative viewpoint, but the vast, vast majority are looking to party. If you're interested in a peaceful experience, the drunken revelers can ruin the atmosphere for you. It's such an issue that some of the larger parks charge admission to cut down on the number of drunken louts.

I won't miss the people who see cherry blossom viewing as an excuse to be loud and be drunk in large groups in public.