Losing Out on Spring in Japan [Video]

I originally intended for this video to be a rant style vlog. The goal was to take my son for a hike through Kurihama Flower Park and talk about life in Japan. In the end, I’m quite proud of how this video has turned out.

Before the pandemic, I used to go to Kurihama often with the family.

There’s a play area that my daughter loved to visit. She’d play with other Japanese kids, play some arcade games and have lunch all in the same place. The flower park is nice, but when compared to other public parks in the area, we’ve not really been compelled to visit after a one time visit.

It was a random thought that drove me to that area for the video.

It feels like it’s been forever since I been to Kurihama, and even longer since I visited the flower park. I didn’t realize that there are times when flowers aren’t growing in the field. It turned out to be a challenging trek. My son was comfortably strapped to my back, but with all the added weight, I was done by the evening.

Like the forecasts predicted, the weather has been terrible since that day. If it isn’t rainy, we have strong winds.

The video would’ve been posted earlier this month, but I came across audio issues that required extra attention. I ended up spending additional nights trying to optimize the sound in the video. The result being that this is the longest video I’ve ever produced. So instead of releasing 3 videos in July as planned, I think it’s best to simply stick to my normal output volume.

Like title suggests, we totally lost spring.

The pandemic started creeping up when the cherry blossoms were blooming. The most popular hanami venues in Tokyo were roped off to discourage citizens from engaging in social gatherings. Like I said in the video, I did my best to replicate a hanami for my children.

Hanami is a big part of Japanese spring culture. Families would normally have picnics under sakura trees and enjoy the beautiful blossoms. When the wind blows the petals away, it almost looks like snow. I spent the entirety of my life seeing this imagery in Japanese animation. One of the most popular Dragon Ball Z movies begins with the cast engaging in their own hanami.

I also missed out on Yabusame festivals. For the past two years, I’ve attended a May festival at Miura Beach where I’ve enjoyed traditional Japanese horseback archery. I loved it so much I even created a video about the subject.

Although Japan has lifted the state of emergency, cultural events are still on hold. Next month, August, will be Obon season, but those events will probably be cancelled. We’ll see.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hope the best For the future.

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