Search This Blog & Get A Rife

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cherry Blossoms in Nishinasuno

Because the cherry blossoms are starting to appear in Tokyo, I thought I would sort of honor that event with the photo up above. 

It was taken in Nishinasuno-machi (Nichinasuno Town) back in 1992, 20 years ago.

It has my classic photographic elements - a real image across the middle, a reflection below, and an over-hanging branch in the foreground up above. What is odd, is that the sky is blue rather than filled with ominous, dark grey rain clouds.

After all of that, you may also have noticed that the photo is not quite in focus... that it's not as sharp as it should be. No... it's not your computer monitor. It's the photo (sigh).

For those who know (and those of you who don't), during this epic time if the year, one's office often sends a couple of representatives out to a park to stake out prime real estate under a cherry tree in bloom. They could be sitting out there all day until the mid- to late-afternoon when the rest of the office shows up to begin the hanami enkai (flower viewing party - though for the Japanese, it's usually cherry blossoms that are viewed). 

I'm unsure how much actual cherry blossom viewing goes on after the first few minutes upon arrival, because very quickly alcoholic beverages and a modicum of snacks and food are brought out.

After way too much drinking of wobbly pops (beer) and o-sake (Japanese rice wine), people get drunk. Bums get pinched. Promises get made. Friendships are cemented. And someone probably pees themselves in laughter after the gaijin (foreigner)  - let's say me - makes everyone laugh with some stupid Japanese line he picked up from watching Shimura Ken on television.

Like I said...  people are drinking... and drinking, and for a change of pace, there is more drinking.

Pretty soon, everybody's vision gets blurry.

And that is what this photo represents. Really.

Or... as is more than likely, I may indeed suffer from astigmatism, which means I have trouble completely focusing my eyes from time to time, and what I thought was a great photo, is really just a blur... much like the drinking party. Ahem.

Like I said... this photo was taken by myself in Nishinasuno... I live and work in the big city next door of Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken. My OBOE (Ohtawara Board of Education) office party would not be held in Nishinasuno. It would be held, more than likely on the grounds of the ruins of Ohtawara-jo (Ohtawara Castle)... if there were any actual ruins. It's just a big park. I've been sitting on a blog about this place for a month now...

Anyhow... after my office party in Ohtawara - you should NEVER bring anything that takes a photograph to any sort of party where there may be drinking, by the way - the next day I rode my bicycle out to Nishinasuno and found this wonderful vista by getting lost - something I could do with remarkable ease in Japan. That's when I took the photo above. I need to get my eyes looked at.

Cheers (kanpai)
Andrew Joseph


  1. Andrew, Hanami party for us tomorrow at Tamagawa... Expecting 400 + people. If you can't make it, I'll have a drink for you!

    1. Hi Mike! by all means, please have a drink for me. Enjoy yourself! I hope the weather is nice and not windy! Every time I went to one of these parties, the wind kicked in and blew the flowers away!

    2. The falling buds always did look very beautiful.

  2. That picture - Nogi-jinja desuka????