The start of spring and the new season to come in Japan has a special way to be celebrated. That is the Hanami, the ancient art of contemplating nature, specifically, the cherry blossom. Literally translated, Hanami means “contemplate flowers”, figuratively speaking, is the way of celebrating the coming of Spring. Japanese gather in parks all over the country, spread their blue plastic or cloth sheets, and sit to eat and drink under the shades of the sakura trees.
In Tokyo, for a brief period of days, places like Yoyogi, Ueno, and Shinjuku gyoen are overcrowded with people, even worst on weekends. The designated scout of the group comes on early hours in the morning, to save a place for the rest of the group, and most likely will take a nap until the group arrives with drinks and food. At public parks drinking alcohol is allowed, and many of the participants have well crossed the point of no return of way too many beers. In ancient times too, the Hanami parties lasted for hours, contemplating the brief explosion of nature, and it’s every year tradition of welcoming the new season.
For myself, too, though I have been already for a year in Japan, it is also the start of a new season. The burst of a seed planted time ago. The start of a new project of life as a photographer. As a content creator, I’m only at the start line, and I want to make 2019 the year to be creative, to improve, to challenge myself with new projects. Last year I published my first book “3 paths to Mount Fuji” a light novel and book guide about Japan. I’m still learning so many things about this country, that keeps surpassing my expectations. To write new adventures, to think in the next book, or the next photobook. To be in front of the camera, to be a better communicator, to show and help others, to entertain. Learning is a continuous process, each year knowing more than the last, the seed growing, becoming a tree with stronger roots.
This year, I celebrated Hanami. First, with my main model Ichica, in Yoyogi, for a photoshooting with the season for theme. Second time, with two friends from the residence I live, that also posed for my camera (You can see some photos on my portfolio pages). Finding a spot in Shinjuku gardens, having a picnic, getting to know better and talk about anything that crossed our minds. The main word I could come up with was “it’s peaceful”. I felt in peace, simple thing like having a picnic in a park under the shade of a sakura tree. Couldn’t ask for better way to celebrate Hanami.