The Ugliness of Japanese Cherry-Blossom Viewing

Cherry-blossom viewing can be wonderful, but only if you can find a quiet, relatively alone place in which to enjoy it. Otherwise, it's just an ugly spectacle. A few minutes' walk from where I live is Kyoto's “Maruyama Park”, famous for its 600 cherry trees, which are appropriately beautiful now that spring has sprung. I went there today, not to see the trees, but rather to see how bad the people were.

They were plentiful. People milling about everywhere, with festival venders hawking octopus balls and squid, people sitting in loud smelly groups on blue vinyl sheets drinking beer and smoking, among tour guides explaining to their charges that they'd be moving along soon. It was everything but beautiful.

For comparison, see this picture, as well as this one, each of the same area, but taken at a more tranquil time.

It was in stark contrast to the many beautiful scenes I'd seen in the previous hour going around town with Anthony, by bike. I'll post some of those (certainly lacking) pictures soon.

One comment so far...

Have you ever been to the one in Washington, DC? It’s exactly the same. Which is interesting, really. I guess cherry blossoms elicit the same behaviour in us all?

— comment by Eric Mesa on May 20th, 2009 at 10:28pm JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink
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